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Sisterhood of the "Single" Moms

In all the excitement of my in-laws’ visit, I didn’t have time to share with you what happened the day before they arrived.

Two Thursdays ago, around 6:30 p.m., I sat down at a favorite, local restaurant all by my lonesome. All by my glorious lonesome. Brian and I try to set aside time each week for me to run away from home so I can write, and I generally prefer restaurants over our local Starbucks—mainly because there is a “regular” at this Starbucks who insists on wearing headphones and singing Italian opera at the top of her tone-deaf lungs.

[Tone-deaf lungs? That makes no sense.]

If lungs could be tone-deaf, this woman should donate hers to science.

And while I (honestly) appreciate her zest for life, music, and public display of allegro, I would much rather not have that distraction when I’m trying to write about things as serious as fecal matter and shopping.

When my food arrived, I put away my laptop and did what everyone does when they eat alone at a restaurant. I pulled out my iPhone. I noticed I had a missed call and a voicemail from my closest military spouse friend, Staci. As soon as the message began to play, I knew something was wrong. She didn’t have the pep in her voice I’ve come to expect from a woman who wakes up a 5:00 a.m. to run seven miles before her four children wake up to start a day of homeschool fun.

If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect we were separated at birth.

[Not even close.]

Staci left no details in her message, but the sound of her voice literally sent chills up my spine. I knew something had happened to one of her kids. I immediately returned her call and heard the same frantic tone in her voice as she said, “Hey…I just got off the phone with Brian. Andrew broke his arm again. The same arm. Again … I’m headed to the ER. Brian said I could drop off the other three kids with him … ”

It was obvious that she was on the verge of tears, and I couldn’t blame her. This precious friend of mine—whose husband has been deployed since the fall—was about to have to go through another round of ER visits, scheduled appointments, casts, and insurance claims for a child who broke that same arm in January. Only, that time, they were with her family in Texas.

This time, Staci was back to “single” parenthood in Kansas.

I quickly packed up my stuff and headed back to our house to find (as Brian said) “no toy left unturned.” It was like Christmas morning with toys strewn from one end of the house to the other and all 5 kids flailing around like a flock of wild turkeys. I was relieved to see smiles on the faces of Staci’s kids since I knew how distressed they were the first time Andrew broke his arm.

I drove Staci’s kids alllllll the way back to their house—4 doors down from ours. Don’t judge. It was cold.

And speaking of cold, this is what I encountered when we walked through the door:

Staci's thermostat

That is the thermostat in her home. It’s on 65. I walked into the master bedroom to find the window open in preparation for what Staci thought was her 9 p.m. bedtime. Y’all, it was below freezing outside, and my friend sleeps 3 feet from an open window.

Our heat, on the other hand, is set on 75 (not an exaggeration), and I sleep in ski clothes (slight exaggeration).

How are we even friends? We can’t be comfortable in the same room at the same time!

I changed the thermostat from its usual meat locker setting to something I could live with for the next several hours. And as Staci’s kids got themselves ready for bed (except the 4-year-old who needed my help), I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my friend and her precious family.

I almost cried when the youngest asked me to sing Amazing Grace before he went to sleep. I almost cried again when I found Andrew’s twin brother in bed with this sign next to him:

Note for Andrew

And I almost lost it when I saw that the middle child (and only girl, bless her heart) had left a note as well.

Note for Andrew

Actually, I almost stole it.

Kid-ding.

I sat on Staci’s sofa with a cup of decaf and just prayed. I prayed for those three precious children asleep in their beds. I prayed for Andrew’s arm. I prayed for Staci as she drove back from Kansas City in the middle of the night. I prayed for her emotional strength as she witnessed her son’s mangled arm (at a 40 degree angle)…and as she did so without her husband. I prayed for her heart as she held her “little” boy who so desperately wanted his daddy there. I prayed for my amazing friend who truly is a “single” mom right now.

But as challenging and painful as deployments can be, I am thankful for the friendships that are forged in the midst of that adversity.

We truly are a Sisterhood of “Single” (at times) Moms.

I don’t often do this (because I’m terrified I’ll forget someone), but I want to thank my military “sisters,” Staci, Judi, Whitney, Susan, Laura, and Katie. Your friendship has helped carry me through some of my most difficult seasons. I thank God for your presence in my life — though most of you now live far, far away — and I appreciate the time you have invested in our friendship.

I feel like I need to go buy matching friendship bracelets now.

Okay, now I must ask all of you a question. I will henceforth use this to screen all of my potential friends:

“What is the ideal temperature inside your house?”

Seriously, because 65 is just NUTS, and we can’t be friends.

(Staci, you’re grandfathered in.)

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Comments to "Sisterhood of the “Single” Moms"

  1. Debbie

    March 11, 2014

    I can’t answer that for fear of being blocked from your website and emails.

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 11, 2014

      No fear, Debbie. We can be friends. I just can’t come over to your house ever. 😉

  2. G-Man

    March 11, 2014

    Wow! What an amazing post. We all should remember and be thankful for the sacrifices made by the families of those serving our country. It certainly does take a special person to serve along side them in this way.

  3. Stephanie

    March 11, 2014

    Ideal temp? 64-66 is what I kept it on before kids. Now I keep it on 68. Although I have slept with the window open in freezing temps and I always have the fan on. Always. Much to Jeff’s dismay. And I sleep in short sleeves and shorts often. 99% of the time. Although my parents house is MUCH lower than that. MUCH. And I should say that I find myself cold there sometimes. What does that say? 🙂

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 11, 2014

      That is just miserable to me. HOW do you sleep with that kind of cold? I can’t do it. I put my bare feet into Brian’s back to warm them up, and I’m still frozen most of the time. No way could I handle 64!

  4. Laura

    March 11, 2014

    72. I miss you and value your friendship too. Love you friend.

  5. brooke bowman

    March 11, 2014

    I think we were separated at birth lol. I don’t have any sisters, just 2 brothers and right in the middle. So maybe you are the sister I was supposed to have. My house stays on 71-73. It’s only that low bc of my husband’s need to control it. Lol my kids are also all 18 months apart and I almost always can completely sympathize with every post.

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 11, 2014

      I always wanted a sister, Brooke! Until I realized how much sisters have to share their stuff. And then I was like, “Nah…I’ll stick with my brother.” I only had to fight with him about stealing my hair gel.

  6. Rachel

    March 11, 2014

    We keep our house at 68*, but I know this won’t affect our friendship because we only see each other at the local Mexican restaurant and they keep their thermostat at 75*, I called and checked!

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 11, 2014

      Yeah, I totally pick my restaurants based on temperature. Also, I refuse to shop at the Commissary until they fix the heating and air situation in there. I walked out with blue fingers the last time I went!

  7. Whitney

    March 11, 2014

    Well my thermostat is currently on 63 🙁 I hope u can find it in your heart to love me anyway 😉 love you!!!!!

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 11, 2014

      SIXTY-THREE? That is craziness. Love you, though!

  8. Pam @ A New Organized Me

    March 11, 2014

    What in the world? 65? That’s freezing. We used to keep ours on 74 but my husband has since lowered it to 72 and I think that’s cold. He’s complaining about a $700 electric bill. I’d rather be nice and toasty while writing checks. I’m just saying.

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 11, 2014

      I like your thinking, Pam! You can’t put a price on warmth. Actually, you can. It’s $700. WORTH IT.

  9. Cheri

    March 11, 2014

    We like it 60 degrees year round here in Swampeast Missery. It’s been 65 or so in here over this past winter. And last summer we couldn’t seem to get it cooler than 70… But sometimes you don’t always have your ideal air temps.
    BTW we like it cold to keep out the skeeters. I have killed a dozen already today with this spring like weather.

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 11, 2014

      65 in the winter? Don’t tell me that. Unless you’re prepared to move me and my family into your guest room. For realz.

  10. Katie

    March 11, 2014

    72, my friend. Maybe we can all meet up at my house for a reunion??! Love and miss you. (And am a little jealous of the two if you together!!)

  11. Cori Allison Kersh

    March 11, 2014

    The older I get, the warmer I run usually…I keep the heat on 65, unless it is early and the kids are getting ready for school, then it is at 68. I keep it between 69 and 72 in summer. And then I am always hot! In childhood I don’t remember you being so cold natured!

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 20, 2014

      If you recall my room was in the attic area of our house. I remember summer evenings where my room was probably 85 degrees! I guess I just got used to that heat. Great to hear from you, friend. I have many happy childhood memories with you in them. 🙂 Please stay in touch!

  12. Drew

    March 12, 2014

    YOUR Staci sounds a lot like MY Stacie. I hate sleeping in long johns year round!

  13. Pingback: A Sound I Never Want to Forget (with VIDEO) | (Nobody Puts) Katy in a Corner

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