Thursday, June 28, 2007

Taste of Utopia

Raise your hand if you want to join my commune.

Right now, my kitchen is a mess, my dining room is worse, I've mopped the floors 2x's and cleaned up many more sticky spills, there are toys EVERYWHERE, and the driveway is cluttered with bikes, skates, I don't even know what else. Normally, I would be feeling frantic, overwhelmed, and grouchy. But today, I spent the day with my friend Pammy; between us, we have 7 children under 8 years old. It was a lovely day, and my cup is full, and I am sated.

Today was, for me, perfect. We made lunch and dinner together, we held each other's babies when they needed it, we allowed the children to return to their god-given state (filthy, wild, and free to do what they wanted), we walked to the lake and let the kids throw rocks and make little "boats" out of twigs and weeds and wildflowers. We talked and sang and listened and sat in quiet. We were a tribe.

See, that's just it. Families used to live in tribes. Chores were shared, children were taught by a variety of adults, and babies were collectively supervised. I may be romanticizing it a little bit, but that's basically how I'd love to live.

Since it looks like an actual commune is out of the question, I would settle for community dinners each night. My day would be so very different if I knew that at 4pm someone would be coming to cook dinner with me. Think of it- the witching hour would suddenly transform into an energy charged bright spot, with new blood in the house, and the smells of different foods cooking, and laughter, and lightness of the load.

Instead we are each in our own little boxes, doing the exact same chores, using the exact same tired voices with the children, watching the clock tick-tick-tick until dinner can be served. I find this completely unnecessary. I can make dinner, you can check on the kids and set the table. I'll wash the lettuce, you can cut up the other veggies. I'll band aid the ouchie knee, you can call the others to come and eat. When the men come home, they'll find a houseful of happy moms and smiling children. Deal?

(We had such a great day that Pammy is returning tomorrow, to spend the night. Her husband is out of town, so this is a lovely, tribey way to pass the time).


Black Sheeped said...

I have no childrens yet, and I don't think I could contribute anything to a commune other than various misbehaved pets, but! Can I just say that I hate washing lettuce? And you are a brave woman, to offer to wash lettuce for someone. It's always so cold and splashy and gritty and awful. Any commune would be lucky to have you.

Mommy Brain said...

I am so completely right there with you! All of my local friends with kids are mothers of multiples. So if I go out with another mom there's usually at least 4 toddlers between the two of us. Still, it just feels easier. I don't know if it's the adult conversation or the "zone defense" but it's just better somehow.

If only you lived next door. Then I could join your commune too.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

That sounds wonderful!

moosh in indy. said...

If only all women mommy bloggers lived in Blogville, USA or Canada, I'm not picky. It would be fantastic.

Marie Green said...

black sheep, I hate washing lettuce too! I only offered, since you were over for dinner, and because of that no chore seemed to yucky. Why is that? Why do things we hate tranform into "I'll willingly do this" as long as there is company?

Also, your pets are welcome in the commune. Also, since you have no children (yet) you would instantly bump up the adult:child ratio, and this is a very good thing... =)

Erin said...

I hear ya! I wish this were so as well, that we could have that community of mothers/parents to support each other. I gain a lot from the virtual support of other on-line moms, though, and I am grateful for that (even though we don't chop veggies for each other).

Hey, thanks also for your comments on my post. I am a terribly inpatient person when it comes to myself (I can be enormously patient with other people), and I always want to grab hold of a situation and make it go a certain way. It's very hard to decide that you're doing to NOT do that, and just things run their course. I'm getting better at that; I'm just not very good at it yet.

Doulala said...

Me! Me! Me! I want to join!!!