North Seattle Maternity Photography & the Mom Village
by North Seattle Maternity Photographer
There was an article on the Huffington Post the other day that stuck with me with sadness. Like a little bug bite on your ankle that rubs just the right spot on your shoe with every step, ignoring it was not an option. The article was about the idea of a village: knowing your neighbors and being a community. Sometimes I think I will join a church just to have it, even though I am not religious.
“I miss that village of mothers that I’ve never had. The one we traded for homes that, despite being a stone’s throw, feel miles apart from each other. The one we traded for locked front doors, blinking devices and afternoons alone on the floor playing one-on-one with our little ones.
What gives me hope is that as I look at you from across the park with your own child in tow playing in her own corner of the sandbox, I can tell from your curious glance and shy smile that you miss it, too.”
Now I sit in my new home, in my new office looking out across the street at all my new neighbors. Why is it so hard to say hello?
There was a time when we could bake muffins, put it in a wicker basket, and walk right over. I’m sure people sometimes still do those things. But then what? Does the conversation ever continue past that thank you and friendly wave as you enter your cars from respective driveways? How do we disengage our own life to the point where we engage in others, and become a community?
It reminds me of movies set in the 1950’s and 60’s. Women sit around playing Bridge, sometimes smoking, sometimes drinking, while the kids play in the yard. Unsupervised. Gasp. They connect, and they have one another to chat, bitch about their husbands, and find solutions for Johnny’s lack of potty readiness or Susie’s refusal to eat her vegetables. It sounds almost heavenly.
My son is in preschool, but I know it will not get easier from here. Soon, if I muster the courage to say hi or ask someone for a drink out of the hope upon hope of building that village, the other woman will have to pull out her phone to refer to her shared calendar, as I will, too. She’ll have to check her spouse’s schedule, her work meetings, Johnny’s soccer schedule, and Susie’s ballet classes. There’s nothing left for me. The community, the village is left in the void of the busy-ness of life.
If only we all still played Bridge.