She spent a few minutes filling me in on the goings on of her gang: her oldest's boyfriend, her youngest's attitude, her husband's plans to renovate their already gorgeous garden. Then she asked what my family had been up to.
I blinked, stopped chopping garlic, and had to think hard on how to answer. It wasn't that I couldn't think of what to tell her. It was that I could decide where to start.
We're are a busy family. But not busy in the mundane, go-to-school, go-to-work, come-home-cook-dinner, sort of way. We are all over the place! Intertwined with all the normal functions of daily family life we end up doing all kinds of things that can only be classified as "other". Feeding chickens, going to jujitsu, picking up a truck load of mulch, sorting produce for our co-op, snake hunting ( for fun and photos, not killing!) attending play groups and support meetings...
Not to mention starting a new not for profit organization.
For my entire life, I have been passionate about a lot of seemingly random things. The only unifying factor among many of my interests is, well, that I am interested in them. It sort of feels like I am at the center of a huge swirling mass of different entities. They revolve around me, sometimes close and prominent, dominating every aspect of my being. Then they drift off, further away in space and time, and I am hardly aware of their gravity at all. Life cycles like that, most times just whirling along in peaceful chaos.
Then, sometimes planets collide! Orbits cross paths and in an instant things happen on a scale that can only be perceived by stepping back and looking at the entire system as one. That's how it is with BirthGirlz!
Michelle and I have known of each other for 15 years or more. Mutual friends, similar interests; it's fair to say we travelled in the same circles, but not necessarily at the same time. That all changed when our sons met for the first time. In about an hour, they came to us, 5 and 6 years old, and announced that they were brothers. OK, we took it in stride, how cute our boys were with their new friendship. We fostered it by moving schedules around, making more days available for the boys to get together, which meant more days for us to get together.
As the boys pretended to be Harry and Voldemort, (and our toddler girls decided if they would even look at each other) we talked about the people we knew in common, the ones we liked and didn't. As they kids pretended to be Mario and Luigi, we shared bread recipes and each joined the co-op the other organized, one for dry goods, one for produce. Amid foam sword fights and Nintendo marathons, we discussed our similar but separate involvement in the birth community, how we supported mamas, and what we felt we needed more of. We organized, connected, networked and listened over and over to moms at our playgroups sigh over the fact that there wasn't enough community in our community. And one day, we just decided we were the ones to build it.
So here we stand now, at the center of our lives as mamas: feeding our families and fundraising, karate and community events, ballet and business meetings, and watching it all come together on its own. BirthGirlz are at the center of the galaxy, and we're going super nova!