I’m crouched behind my neighbor’s fence wearing an inflatable T-rex costume. If I don’t get low enough, my kids will see my giant dino head long before I’m able to launch myself out to the sidewalk and that just won’t do. As the minutes tick away, I curse myself for cheating on those squats at the gym. My thighs are burning and I’m hardly even bending over. Where the heck is the bus?
Another three minutes pass and I’m still in the bushes. The man from the house across the street, who I’ve never talked to in my life, comes outside dressed in a bathrobe to look at me.
“I thought I saw a dinosaur out here,” he says. “What are you doing?”
Why is a grown man wearing a bathrobe outside at 4 p.m. on a Wednesday? I want to ask him.
“Just surprising my kids with something weird,” I tell him.
As the explanation tumbles out of my mouth, I have to suppress an almost overwhelming desire to waddle back into my house, deflate this crazy costume, and pretend like this never happened. A scrolling list of self-doubt rolls before my eyes. Is this how grown women should act? My mother would never have done this. Are the other moms on the street watching me right now? Why is it so hot in here? Where is this FLIPPING bus?!? The man wanders back to his house.
Suddenly, there’s the bus. I watch my two kids hop down the steps and start walking up the street. Just a little closer … closer… wait for it … I leap out into their path and grab them with my little T-rex arms. They scream and pretend they’re annoyed, but I know better. I can see in their eyes they are equal parts confused and delighted at this strange turn of events. As I turn to head back inside, the man in the bathrobe is standing on his porch watching us.
“You’re a good mom!” he yells to me before closing the door. I pump my fist triumphantly. I’ve done it! I’ve been ridiculous and crazy and I hope my kids remember this moment forever. I know I will.
Stacey Morgan has been a MOPS Member for 14 years, and is currently the Area Coach for South Texas. She is married to a NASA astronaut and together they have four children.