Almost daily diary!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The visit

Today we spent time with a great friend of mine, who lives two roads away, but whom I often don't see for months on end. I will call he the Alternative Mother (of 4). Every time we see each other it's like we spoke yesterday and I wonder why we don't get together more often.

There are probably several reasons. One clue is in her title. Their family life is alternative, perhaps even a little haphazard. They home educate, which I admire her greatly for, and this tends to make them live on a different time scale from our own. They do more 'unusual' things (ones you need to be brave for) that I can't do! They have a busy life. And Small Sprog prefers to play with Lucy (his own age) than Joseph (2 years younger). That is often a problem.

The Alternative Mother and I met when we were carrying our first babies who were born 2 weeks apart from each other, as were our next two. (I stopped at this point and she had twins!!)We spent days together then, struggling with new babies and supporting each other through those unknown shores. She takes risks. I live a safe (and boring life). When her baby was 4 months old she took off on the spur of the moment to New Zealand. I could barely get to the supermarket! When she returned months later I was struggling with weening. She hadn't bothered! I was doing what 'the book' said. She was doing it however she felt best!

We now have two happy and healthy 11 year old girls! Such different beginnings but such similar beings.

I wish I had had the courage to do it her way (still do sometimes). She wishes she had things sorted a little like me. I need to practice my haphazardness and leave the OCD behind! She seriously needs to get organised!

We had a good time today. An easy time spent grazing over life, before, after and now. I hope we get old together.


BS5 Blogger said...

Now that was all rather nice! I enjoyed this post.

Dori said...

Whoa--your babies came with BOOKS?!

I think there's something to be said for a healthy dose of both haphazardness and OCD. Everything in moderation! Start small...leave the breakfast dishes in the sink to wash up with the supper dishes. Very liberating!

leslie said...

You obviously fit together perfectly as friends. You admire traits in the other that you wish you had and in a way, help to complement each other's lives. I think most of us have friends like that in our lives. If so, we're all very lucky beings.

Reader Wil said...

Your friend looks a bit like my daughter in Australia; she also homeschool her children. She lives in the outback and many of her friends are in the same position. They are not poor but live sober lives, homeschool the children, have chickens, ducks, geese whatever and more importantly: they are happy.
I am more like you. I like my clean, well organized house and yet I also like travelling and meeting other people. I envy my daughter's easy way of living. She gets up early, walks for an hour before breakfast while the children are still in bed. She lives in the rainforest and enjoys her live on this large property of hers.

Suburbia said...

Reader Will, that sounds a fantastic lifestyle. So great that you can visit and take part for a while :)

Working mum said...

Just been catching up on my reading after my wet holiday and supermarket run!

Sounds like a nice friend. Funny how we admire qualities in others that we don't possess ourselves.

Akelamalu said...

Opposites attract!

I bet she doesn't give your OCD a second thought you know. ;)

Rose said...

I'm glad you got to spend some time with a good friend. Like you, I often think afterwards, "why don't we do this more often"?
I find myself often envying other people's lifestyles--I envy those who can be spontaneous, in particular (going off to New Zealand with a 4-month-old??). But they probably envy us as well--your neat and organized life, for example.
Maybe we should all try a little change now and then. Of course, when I try a spontaneous trip--like a weekend away--it usually turns into a disaster:)

Maggie May said...

I am like you and like to play safe, but I often wonder what it would be like to be more adventurous and spontaneous and some times wish I could have a taste of it. I guess we are what we are!

lucy said...

home schooling has always fascinated me. i had only one experience with a fellow college classmate entering in to a school system after home schooling.

she was at Collegiate level at age 17. that in itself was not the quality that set her apart from the rest. it was her most precious eloquent articulate view point, and she was a talented violinist as well.

i too have lived a great portion of my life concentrated on order. Organizing myself and my men (i've only had two main loves and both had zero organizational skill). this was just my personality & i was often and still am rewarded professionally for this ability.

yet, a few years back, i had my first experience with perhaps the most disorganized person i had ever laid eyes upon. she was a wonderfully talented Statistics teacher. Our first meeting, at her office, i joked that organization could be a terrible waste of time.

entering into her office, you felt there was no way this was a professors office, yet surely some sort of storage room for the entire university's records.

yet, this professor had us do all 13 chapters, while another friend taking statistics, at another university, only completed 6.

interesting. i'm not sure if there is any relation. yet, there is truly only so many hours in a day & we spend our time in x,y,z fashion.

i am only beginning to understand this madness & i can not say i truly understand this distinction, or that it is even better than living life in the more orderly fashion.

your post just opened up a flood of thoughts. and i thank you for bringing such an interesting dynamic.

MissKris said...

I used to be pretty OCD when my two kids were little, constantly picking up after them, etc. Not so with the grandbabies. I've learned these years are waaaaaaay too fleeting and I'm sitting back and truly enjoying the roses this time around. Housework is forever, always, eternally THERE!!! It'll get done one day or the next. As long as we're not buried in dust bunnies, the dishes get done regularly, and we have clothes to wear, I'm happy.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

So how do you feel about berry picking in New Zealand?


There are small changes that we can make in our lives every day; little things, nuances that improve it and make it more what we wish it would be.

Try little changes, first.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Gill - That British Woman said...

that's what makes this a great world we live in, we are all different and it makes life more interesting for us all. The one bond you do have is motherhood...

great post.

Gill from Canada

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

its true what they say, friends are the family you would choose!!

happy times with them is real..

Liz said...

Sometimes seeing how others live make you appreciate your own life more!

She sounds like a good friend. You don't need to be in constant touch with the best ones.