There used to be a song I listened to in college, a song that somewhat encompassed the females I called friends, girls who were funny and spontaneous and gifted with lots of personality. And a little crazy.
Not cuckoo crazy or straitjacket crazy or even snakes in the head crazy. It was a kind of crazy that demonstrated more courage than sense, more carefree than careful. This song would play, and I would catch the eye of one of my compatible comrades, and with more off-key singing than the law should allow, we would join in on the lyrics as though the words were written with us in mind.
Crazy women.....they’re the only kind I know.
Crazy women....keep me running for the door.
Crazy women...I guess they’re all the same.
Crazy women...got my foolish heart to blame.
Many years after college and graduate school, I would occasionally hear the song and smile – and sometimes grimace – at the memories provoked by the much loved tune. Life barely resembled the former, even with intermittent glimpses provided by yearly reunions with the NOGS and sporadic shopping trips with friends from South Carolina. A momentary break from domestic responsibilities and calendar driven demands that allowed a brief visit to the days when we were ungratefully young and gravity not yet the kryptonite to select parts of our bodies.
Don’t misunderstand me, days are fulfilling and exactly what I have always imagined my life would be, but also completely opposite of a time when I answered to the outrageous whims that would direct me to the next adventure.
Courage has eventually been replaced with good sense and carefree transitioned into careful. A natural progression of adulthood when there are others who live out the consequences of decisions considered and made, actions pondered and fulfilled.
Traveling back from the beach last week, after a trip with Martha and Mandy and the seven children between them, I surprisingly heard the song once again. Before it had always reminded me of fun, crazy days before the delightful arrival of offspring. But in a slight moment of clarity, I realized for the first time, that the crazy is still there, it just now includes, and is most likely caused by, my children.
Who, but crazy women, minus their capable and quite sensible spouses, would take 10 children to the beach, vacationing under the same roof, praying that everyone still likes each other at week’s end?
Who, but crazy women, would ask the wide-eyed hostess for a table for thirteen, fully expecting and not caring that drinks would be spilled, service would be slow, white pants would be stained, and meals would be half-eaten?
Who, but crazy women, would hunt crabs close to midnight, wielding oven mitts and plastic buckets, capturing squiggly-eyed crustaceans, all while squealing louder than the youngest child?
Who, but crazy women, would tip-toe to the third floor porch, only speaking in hushed tones and wild hand gestures, so that those who can identify us as a parent would be unable to find us?
Who, but crazy women, would seek out the fountain in the town square, encouraging their energetic children to frolic and splash to their heart’s content, only for the sake of pure, adolescent joy?
And, who, but crazy women, after assembling 20 preservative rich meals, applying 60 coats of sunscreen and responding 180 times to the word “Mommy, would still find themselves smiling when it was all over?
Crazy women. They’re the only kind I know.