Girlhood. Momhood. Lifehood.
Insights on navigating the craziness of life with young kids one — “large coffee with skim please” — day at a time.

Hand Picked

  • Don, Roger, Peggy and Joan.
    Oh, how I’ve missed you. Mad Men. Season 4 premiere on AMC. July 25th, 10pm EMT.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

August 8th, 2009

A family in my town is going through a very difficult time. Their five-year old son has cancer. He’s receiving wonderful medical care and has already proven to us all that he’s quite a tough little guy – but it has, and will be, a long, grueling road for him and his family.

When word of his diagnosis made its way through town this past winter, the response was incredible – people instantly deployed to help in any way they could. So when I decided to host a little summer “Mom’s Night Out” fundraiser party recently, I knew my friends would come. I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty amazing support myself over the last couple of months, so I just knew they would. They’re just like that.

A few weeks ago, I just picked a night on the calendar for the event, and wrote up an invite and emailed it to all the moms in town I could think of. Then I pressed the “send”
button and waited.

Within a few minutes…that familiar “ding” of my inbox.

Ding. “Hey! Great idea I’ll be there, what can I bring??”
Ding. “I’ll be there, and I’ll donate a raffle prize!”
Ding. “Awesome! I’ll be there and just sent this to a bunch of friends.”
Ding. “I’ll be on vacation but I’m sending a check.”
Ding. “I’ll bring wine!”
And so on and so on…

As luck would have it, the night of the party (just a couple of days ago) was gorgeous. Low humidity, a slight breeze. Perfect. And just hours before the party, I got word that the little boy’s mother and his aunt would be able to attend. I was ecstatic, and a little nervous. But when the doorbell rang promptly at 7:30pm, they started coming in…gaggles of friends in summer sandals with platters of brownies, bowls of chocolate trifle and pitchers of Sangria and iced coffee. And soon they were saying, “You wouldn’t believe the cars down the street!” There’s like 30 minivans out there!!!!” Fantastic. Exactly what I’d hoped for.

Over the next few hours voices and laughter streamed out the windows.
Gals chatted and shopped for jewelry and handbags and toys and bought raffle tickets by the handfuls.
When the guest of honor came in I had to try not to completely tackle her with a hug. She’d just spent a particularly long week at the hospital and I’m sure it was overwhelming. But she also had a rare moment to spend some time with the girls, some she didn’t even know, and feel the love and support of all these fellow moms crowded together in my house.
And the cars just kept coming.
And the cash box kept getting bigger.
The sea of faces smiling back at me as I said a few words and we doled out donated raffle prizes is an image I’ll never forget.

Hours later when I kicked my shoes off, pawned off the rest of the wine to the last of the lingering guests and my mom and I emptied the last of the trash, I thought, what a beautiful night. What a tremendous gift to be able to fill this house with women and mothers who just wanted to show their support. What a gift to be able to give our friend. To raise some money and give her a hug.

I realized at that moment that it felt like one of those nights when I was a kid playing with friends outside at sunset. When all of the sudden you see a little flicker of light off in the distance. And then you see another, and another and a few more and then they’re everywhere…fireflies…lighting up the summer sky.

And it’s more than just a little magical.

The day after the party, our friend got up and headed to the hospital for another long day. But I’m hoping that the memory of the night – and having a chance to literally see and feel the love in the room will help her, and her son, and her family through the darkest days.

I’m thankful my friend let us do this for her.

And I’m so very thankful for my beautiful, luminous fireflies.

« Previous

Next »

Boston Momas