Approximately three months ago, four girls on my derby team met at The Skate Center in Auburn. After doing a few laps around the track, they bought some nachos from the concession stand and sat on the crusty carpet for a talk.
A long talk.
There has to be more to life, one of them said.
Sometimes I just feel so empty inside, said another.
I feel like I was meant to be something more than a skater, commented the third.
I have an idea, mentioned the fourth. But we’re going to have to make a blood pact. This is serious.
And so each of them picked a scab on their knee and made it official.
Three months later, the entire team would know their secret.
Three months later, they wouldn’t be able to hide their bulging bellies any longer.
Okay, so that’s not really how it happened. But eventually, when my derby wife Skully and I write the script for the Lifetime feature film, the drama will need amped up. Intensified. Exaggerated. We will have to find a good reason why four girls on our derby team got pregnant within days of one another.
Because that part is true.
Yep. One-third of our derby team is suffering from the nine month injury. As the chair of the hospitality committee, I’m terrified. How am I going to convince our skaters to buy four baby gifts for the amalgamated shower that we’ll be throwing? What if one of them goes into labor while we’re playing the whose-got-poo-in-their-napkin door prize game? What if they all end up in different hospitals at the same time? Ahh!
Although four of our skaters are leaving the track and crossing over into motherhood, I’m excited. I love babies. (Well, I love toddlers and kittens more, but whatever.) Derby is often referred to as a family, and Burn City is about to add four little pootums to our fold. I can’t wait to find out what the babies’ genders are, what their names will be, and what they will look like. For sure, they will all be chubby and adorable and oh-so squishy.
But the other part of me is in a bit of a panic. I’m getting ready to turn thirty in December, and I have no plans of giving birth anytime soon. Maybe ever. Will I lose all these friends because I don’t know anything about motherhood and have no useful advice? Will I ever see them again? Could it be that I am missing out on something?
Maybe yes and maybe no. I can’t predict how often I’m going to see these derby sisters once they give birth. I can’t predict if they will still want a thirty-year-old-almost-literature-professor-who-plays -derby bombarding them with “I miss you” facebook wall posts when they have a wailing baby to take care of. I wouldn’t blame them if they had to ignore me. I just hope that I will still have enough traits in common with these future moms to maintain a friendship.
Because that part is scary. That part is what worries me the most. Did we become friends because of derby, or is there something more? I hope it’s something more. I hope that I can still relate when my teammates come to bouts with a Baby Bjorn Hangy Baby Thingy. I hope that all of my nosy questions about What Babies Do When They Won’t Sleep won’t annoy them too much. I hope that they will still want to hear stories about That Crazy Drill We Did At Practice, or the Weird Things That Blicker Says In His Sleep.
If I had to guess, I’d say that sometimes, the future moms-on-wheels might feel like they’re missing out on something, too. For so long, derby was our baby together, and now they are not going to be able to bout. To hit. To drink at the afterparties. (Or maybe some of them were ready to leave that behind. It’s hard to say.) At this point, I have to have faith that I will still be able see these ladies on a regular basis and love on their babies like they are my own.
And if any lesbian ladies on our team come to practice with a big announcement…well, then I’m skating for the door. I don’t think Lifetime is quite ready for that.