Saturday, January 2, 2010

in this century.

o.k......when i sat down to write about the craziness of scheduling our family christmas, i knew it would be one of the least exciting, most confusing post that i have ever written.  and nothing is more boring to me than asking someone how they are and hearing a littany of their busy schedule.  i realize we live in a world where everyone is overwhelmed with their own agenda.

i think this all began in the 80's.....everyone was so busy talking about money and having money to do things, have things, buy more things and go more places to meet more people than i ever remember.  i'm sure graduating college and living on our own and having a permanent job, called career in the 80's, helped all of that to be magnified.  i still remember making plans with friends.....some had become very self important in  "high powered careers".  when the plans were made, we discussed where we were all meeting and who would be there. some rattled off possible conflicts and told of other plans.  the "where" was more prominent and "who" was more prestigious.  just when we thought we, the tried and true friends, had been blown off for a better opportunity, we heard a "filofax" worth of information.  back in the 80's, we still used a phone.  if we had been skyping,  friends might have seen us gagging at high fillutin' plans.  we had a few years of even more important engagements and black ties and real estate aquistions and can you top this events and addresses.

our lives all moved on.  we thought that the days of one upping were over.  then, we got married.....settled into a life of bliss and new homes and new babies.....some sooner than later.  we thought we had moved on from sharing shallow stories.  but, no.  we were on to the next phase.  for me, a late bloomer, it was sometimes unbearable to hear the accounts of the new kitchens and gutting of homes and exotic vacations.  my husband and i were both late bloomers, we like to say.  i wouldn't have changed a thing.  we waited a long time to find the love of our lives.....later rather than sooner and we were happy.

our first address was a little mary tyler moore apartment, on the third floor of an old victorian house.  it was a dream life in a little village by the sea, with daily walks together and romantic dinners in our tree house apartment.  we entertained like crazy and anyone who visited was welcomed and fell in love with our charming little home.

and soon to come was our bouncing baby girl.  we were all peaceful in our little niche, bathed in bright  sunlight and cozy with our new baby.

soon, we had the chance to make a move, so that my husband could grow his sales territory in the northeast. we moved to a beautiful beachy area near boston.  we found a condo, rather than a house. the prices of homes were moving up and we were starting out.  i was staying home with our baby, grace.  we made that choice early on.  it was a choice i'll never regret.....yet, i have the greatest respect for women who manage both a full time career and mom life.  with the choices we made, we would need more time to get our first house.

that was when i learned that the busy scheduling stories would  appear again.  as a new mom, i began entering a world i had never known....playgroup....with moms and babies.  it was exciting to be in a new place, with a new baby and starting out the life i had dreamed of.  innocent.  i walked into a new world of moms who had stories to tell of their babies best moments and tales of gymboree, naptime dreambabies, babbling babies who were prodigies and parents who knew it all.  babies had schedules for classes of gymboree, gymnastics in utero, mom n me music, ballet babies, swimming babies and babies who lunched.

playgroups were pedestals for parental achievements. moms not only nursed babies on the go but but planned parties for baby's first teeth.  playgroups were scheduled at people's homes. we had coffee and bagels and babies while moms relayed stories of upholsterer uproars and curtain creations.

as babies grew, the accomplishments were even greater.....and toys were greater too.  their were dollhouses and playhouses and baby kitchens and gadgets and scooters and strollers galore.

we were so new to this world, it scared us a bit. we were living in our condo and clueless to it.  we had no "home work" or demands.  we took road trips and day trips and trips to the pool at the condo, we went swimming and took long walks with babies in the jog stroller.  we had time to smell the flowers.  we met neighbors outside, sharing rasberries and flowers.  we met storekeepers and mailmen.

i knew it was funny, when i was volunteering to help raise money for a town playground.  apparently, it was time.  time for the moms to get busy. it was time to apply all of their savvy business skills from a previous lives.  our playground needed research and planning and blueprints and consultations.  their were committees and committees to work it all out.  there were meetings in the morning and meetings at night.

i knew it was time to rethink this world.  i was sitting in a mc mansion, in a kitchen larger than our condo.  moms were gathered on gigantic, plush sofas with designer water.  moms talked of the swingsets in their own backyards.  one mom said, "oh, we chose the playbuilt swingset because it seemed most challenging for our little monkeys"  another mom described their latest swingset aquisition, an even newer model.  the first mom with the monkeys talked about their decision to have the swingset close to the house so she could keep and eye on her little monkeys.  the mom with the bigger, better new design told of her necessity to have a bulldozer come in to "clear the land" to give it some space.

it was at that moment that i thought, "wait, i'm here to volunteer to build a playground.  my kids have  no swingset, in fact, we have no yard."  i laughed to myself.  i realized our children had been in a photoshoot for a top of the line swingset company. we had recieved coupons for a discount on a purchase of the top of the line swingset......but, we had no yard. and that was the moment i knew i needed to sit back with our babies and watch them grow.  i chose, at that very moment, to step back from the insanity.

from that moment on, i made choices.  i made choices to make our children come first.  not based on ego.  not based on stuff.  not based on busy baby schedules to bombard their little lives.  i remained true to ourselves and to our babies.  i knew that all of the committees and all of the volunteering and all of the scheduling would, from that moment on, be based on what's best for our babies and our family.

.who'd have ever believed....the 80's career women could turn the lives of kids into one upping on the sidelines!  it happens.  life is busy.  kids are busy.  grandparents are busy. moms are busy. dads are busy.  for goodness sake, i even need time to squeeze in time for doggie playdates.

our phone call this morning started all of this.  we had to cancel ou christmas in january with or family, in the latest location..  snow. rain. weather.  we'll figure something out.....eventually.  in the future, i hope we won't be skyping christmas.  families are far away.....with busy schedules multiplied by number of family members.  where has the time gone? literally, where has it gone?  i hope we get it back in this century.