The reason moms walk together, most would guess – it’s a convenient and simple form of exercise. Beyond the obvious, however, exists an intricate ritual, which is neither observable nor measurable.
Let’s take a quick snapshot of two moms walking from afar. They both have on their sneakers, comfortable clothes, typically a t-shirt and yoga pants, sunglasses, and often a hat or ball cap. One may have a sweatshirt tied around her waist. From a distance, these mom pairs look alike.
Yet each walker, underneath her cloak of motherhood, has her own complexities, invisible to the eye. Her own experience with life, fears, dreams, hopes and challenges. The Mom Walk is the iron, which makes life’s wrinkles smoother. With each step and each breath, the very fabric of our tapestry is added to, toiled upon and lovingly expanded. Rather than colors, we weave as we walk, with the 5 Cs: Comfort, Cleanse, Complain, Contemplate, Comic relief.
Let me elaborate:
Comfort: As a group, mothers have covered just about every subheading under the category “The Human Condition.” It is comforting to be with a friend, a fellow parent in the trenches, a non-judgmental voice to offer encouragement, or simply listen.
Cleanse: During our walks, a cleanse in its own right, takes place. Toxins are released. Stress, worries, and insecurities are voiced and we feel validated and lighter. Rather than a brief catching up in the carpool line or in a grocery store aisle, a walk allows us time to get past the superficial top layers and go deeper, cleansing what would otherwise build up or rot within us.
Complain: We complain to each other because we don’t have to start every sentence with, “I am sorry, I know this is no big deal but…” Swapping stories of a husband that is working on the weekends, a child that has to be told a hundred times to do her chores, a dog that tore something up, or a teacher that assigns too much homework. Once a complaint is voiced, and another mom shares hers, we have absolved the complaints of their power over us. And in doing so, can more clearly see what’s important.
Contemplate: When walking we have time to contemplate. Together, moms consider dreams, goals, or the next stage of life. We contemplate small things – what color to paint a wall, and large things, what school to send a child to. More than not, there is no one answer or quick solution. The further women walk away from their starting point, the closer it seems, each comes to peace with what is weighing heavy on her.
Comic relief: Simply put, laughter is the multi-vitamin, the fuel, which keeps us moving forward. Without it, no matter how brightly the sun is shining, our walks would become clouded. Our perspectives, too dark. Comic relief provides… well, relief.
Collectively moms have crisscrossed the globe several times over. We’ve logged countless miles. But walks are more than what one sees from afar – legs moving, feet rising and falling to the ground.
Moms know that on our walks, we’ve traveled to remote corners of our hearts, deep crevices of our souls. We have comforted, cleansed, complained, and contemplated—our laughter often the only map available.