I'm not a "connected" kind of person. I'm a loner. I have social anxiety that ranges from mild to paralyzing denial. Funny that I can stand in front of a room full of people and discuss the structure and function of various body systems and the physiological mechanisms of homeostasis, but I can't manage to have a simple conversation with a person without it turning moderately painful at some point, usually.
However, when you have a Wee One, particularly as a Single Mama, you have to be connected. You can't do it alone, and it's unfair to your little one for you to even try.
The last couple of days I have felt amazingly connected to some pretty awesome people. And it's made me ... wait for it ... HAPPY.
HAPPY. I do things for them, they do things for me, and it brings me JOY.
I'm waiting for the punchline. Seriously.
A mama that I met through a mutual interest in cloth diapering is due to deliver soon. I took a huge bag of presents to her shower. Some of it was used (prefolds, a book, cloth nursing pads, babylegs) and some of it was new (outfits with snapping shirts, newborn microfiber inserts, awesome swaddling blankets.) She is a writer as her profession, so she's kindof like my hero. When she wrote me a thank-you note using the word splendiferous, I melted a little inside.
Another friend that I have known for the majority of our lives has a preschooler. And is a vegetarian. I've been hearing interviews by book authors on NPR, seeing what some bloggy mamas have to say, and doing a little reading myself. I stand in the grocery store and think "I don't want to buy cow flesh wrapped in plastic" but then the next thought becomes "so what the heck do I feed my toddler?" So I asked this dear friend of mine for help. She spent the entire day peppering me with facebooked and texted questions about certain food preferences, and at the end of the day I had a 5-page encyclopedia on cooking speedy weeknight dinners for a family using no meat. My mouth was watering at the recipes. She's going to lend me cookbooks. I am about to cry (partly because the food instructions were peppered with funnies that totally made me laugh until I had tears. But also? Because she is awesome.)
This friend also has some cloth diapers that she borrowed from me after the adoption of a baby girl into her family last fall. Unfortunately fate is cruel, and the baby girl is no longer in their home, although I know she is still in their hearts. I hesitatingly asked about the diapers, because I think my friend who is about to deliver might like to have them. So this weekend she is bringing diapers and a cookbook. Mommies helping mommies helping mommies.
In the past couple of years, I have wondered what it would be like to live on a commune. Or in a community where people are more committed to reusing and recycling. Communities where people are committed to sharing more freely, and not as concerned with getting their money out of something that they bought, like outgrown children's toys. That can be carried too far. I don't want all the women in one place raising the babies - I like to be able to pursue my passions as a working mama too. I just can't help thinking every time I think "I need a _______ " and head out to Target for it, that there's someone on the other side of town going "I need to get that effing _______ out of the garage."
So in the past few days, I have had a mama I know online offer to go on vacation with me so we both get a getaway, but our girls will both be watched over. I have forwarded a daycare newsletter on shyness to a mama I know online that has a shy little one. I have begged for vegetarian recipes and gotten a missive of ideas in return. And I will be forwarding a set of diapers to their third user. A bunch of mommies that months ago were completely unconnected, now in a web of helping, supporting, sharing, reusing. These are all really amazing women. Intelligent, strong, capable, accomplished women that I am proud to affiliate with, proud to surround myself with, proud to have as role models for my Wee One.
It just makes me feel really connected tonight, and I think it's beautiful that can happen.
Excuse me while I go cry sappy PMS tears. Thanks.