Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Community, Redefined.

Community: “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”

Google has defined what I feel with my mama friends well.  We are a community.  We are parenting with similar principles albeit different styles.  We share love for our own children and the children of our dear friends.  We have a shitty morning and then meet at a park in our yoga pants and suddenly, everything is better.  We teach our children how to share and collaborate with one another.  We push another mama’s toddler on the swing so she can nurse her baby.  We share snacks.  We swaddle and bounce a newborn on an exercise ball so her mama can take a break.  We love.  We give.  We all do it.  No one is exempt, and we ebb and flow into different roles, supporting one another.  We are a community.  One of the best I have ever known.

Sometimes I wish we were a true community.  That we fell into Google’s second definition: “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.”  Sometimes I long to be living in a different time.  One where we women could sit around our fire stirring porridge, sharing stories, and calming the young.  Where we could offer our breast to our best friend’s babe if she wasn’t able to without society calling us crazy.  Where we could birth together, celebrate together, mourn together.  Like really together.  In this place, we could find a kind of support that nowadays we can only dream of. 

But here we are, and it’s 2014, and we’ve created a beautiful community that fits within society’s social norms.  We celebrate birthdays together and actual birth days.  We laugh over our parenting mishaps and the fact that our 3 ½ year old still craps his pants daily.  We cook each other meals: rich Indian curries, tangy gazpachos, buffalo chicken sandwiches on buttery biscuits.  And, we love on each other’s children.  We hug and kiss them and celebrate them.  We correct their wrongs with compassion, and open our homes to each other, learning, growing, doing this together.

But what happens when crisis hits a community like ours?  When it digs its sharp claws into the safe bubble of love we’ve created with each other.  What happens when someone falls, loses, crumbles?  How do we pick up the pieces? 

I don’t know if I have the answer to this question yet, but good heavens, we’ve been tried and will be again.  I know other communities out there fighting a similar battle, and I look to them to find answers.  I know what I went through with my dad and how my community united.  Thoughts, prayer, meals, texts, cards, flowers, gifts, words, moments.  None of it feels like enough, does it?  I find moments where I literally feel like I could reach inside my chest, yank out my heart, and give a piece of it to my friends to sustain them through tragedy.  Here you go, my dear.  You need this more than I do right now.

I love my mama friends and their big hearts.  I love how they care.   They care deeply, and it is steadfast.  I don’t know how a community like ours endures through heartache so raw, but I am finding this out.  And in the end, we will survive and support and share in celebration once again because we must for the sake of the little ones who’ve brought us together.  We will stand by each other and offer the best support we know how to give, no matter how simple it may seem.  And in doing all of this, we will create something we never knew possible.  I promise you, we will dropkick Google’s ass out of the park with our definition of what it is to be a community, and to be a part of something like that – that’s special.

Love you.

No comments:

Post a Comment