From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

“Be” Is for Bunko

It’s the friends you can call at four A.M. that matter.

Marlene Dietrich

We call ourselves “The Bunko Babes.”

Once a month, we gather to eat sinful foods and pour out our hearts. Oh yeah, and we squeeze in a few minutes of rolling the dice, so we can tell our husbands that we are getting together to play Bunko. See, the guys can understand that. They get together to play poker, to shoot pool, to do something.

They wouldn’t understand our need to get together just to be. To be called our given name rather than “Mommy.” To be dressed in clothes free of mashed banana stains. To be in the presence of other females who can feel our pain and celebrate our joy. To be ourselves while we share dreams, pet peeves and our latest war stories from the frontlines of motherhood. To belong to a group.

We enter an inviting home filled with scented candles and soft jazz floating from family room speakers. Freshly baked desserts greet us as we mingle in the kitchen. After several minutes of playing Bunko, several hours of chatting and several helpings ingesting hundred calories of desserts, we wrap ourselves in our coats and venture back to our respective houses.

Once home, I quietly sneak into my house, black except for the lone kitchen light left on by my husband. I hear the quiet whisper of the furnaces as I tiptoe over scattered Barbies on the family room floor. I check on my sleeping angels and readjust their covers. I tiptoe into my bedroom, where I’m greeted by my husband’s rhythmic breathing.

As I remove my makeup, I notice a new sparkle in my eyes, absent earlier when I scrubbed crayon off the wall and folded my fourth load of laundry. I see a refreshed, vibrant woman looking back at me—a woman ready to tackle another day of crazy, unpredictable parenting. A woman eager to be a mother again.

Thanks to “The Bunko Babes.”

Tessa Floehr

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