When I received my passport in the mail, things became real. I knew that in a matter of weeks, I would be leaving for a three-week visit to our projects on the ground in rural Uganda. The internet and phone connections were going to be questionable. I began to mentally prepare for complete disconnection from my husband and three children. Translation: I began hyperventilating into a brown paper bag. You must understand that I work full-time every day. I work from home two days a week so that I can keep straddling the fence between working mother and stay-at-home mother. I love my children and I want desperately to be an involved mother that provides a Betty Crocker-esque home, but like the Joker to Batman, I am foiled at every turn. Dinner is often prepared just in time for us to have to leave with granola bars to stave off hunger until we can return to our cold dinners later. I have been known to run down to the basement in my underwear for clothes for the day. My nightly prayer is that my two calendars are completely synced and that I remembered to place that information on the paper calendar for my husband. I cannot tell you how allergic he is to electronic calendars of all kinds. Killing. Me. I am no pillar of efficiency. I try but it is often a hot, fiery mess. This time, I planned ahead. I sent texts to friends. I called in favors. I wrote note cards with surprises inside and hand-delivered them to teachers. When the wheels lifted off of the ground, I was sad but convinced all would be fine. At some point, I stood high heels wedged in a damp soccer field with other moms. I was cold and irritated that the games were scheduled so close to the end of my work day. A group of moms in much smarter, warmer attire asked me “how do you do it all?” While I was in Uganda, my children went on motorcycle rides with a woman named SonicBOOM from my roller derby team. Every day, a teacher delivered a letter from me into the hands of my two older boys based on my instructions. Balloons were delivered, ice cream was had and breaks were built in for my husband. My children even dined on Red Lobster with my derby wives. A group of moms in much smarter, warmer attire asked me “how do yo u do it all?” My friends, those I have chosen to be a part of our family, were there for us. They were there for my children. There is no greater comfort to a mother’s heart than knowing that her children are loved and cared for by the people who are important in her life. The people disconnected by blood but wading willfully into the waters of your life are precious beyond measure. How do I do it all? I don’t.
As the founder & executive director of The Firecracker Foundation, Tashmica works to honor the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma by encouraging the Mid-Michigan community to invest in the healing of their whole being. She is wife to a talented tile installer and mother to three boys made from the unique combination of thunder and lightning. Taking to the track as Nina Firecracker, Tashmica is one of more than 40 athletes playing roller derby with the Lansing Derby Vixens (LDV).