I think the whole nuclear family is such a weird thing. I mean, who thought, "Gee, let's live far apart from people who really care about us and who can give us valuable help and mentoring in life"? It's a goal as a young adult to distance yourself from your parents. It's even EXPECTED developmentally. Differentiation between child and adult is a critical step to individualism and independence. White bread, American culture states that to be a fully grown adult, you must be separate from your family. And thus, alone. With babies. All day.
I've talked a lot here about how isolating being a SAHM is (here, here, and here - I know, boring). Because of the nuclear family set up it's incumbent upon me to surround myself with people, an exhausting venture in and of itself beyond just the daily effort of mothering and wifing. Blogging is a big help. Really big. Facebook, too. And I make a really whole hearted effort to reach out to the friends I already know (I called 3 friends yesterday to set up lunches and coffees and I've written two postcards and two letters to penpals). But it feels all so strung out, willy-nilly.
It boils down to the fact that I don't have a crew. I don't have a group of friends that will do everything with me anymore. We are all little nuclear families in our own right and we bump into one another on occasion and keep on going. I love them all dearly, but I want more. I want someone to go hiking with me, shopping with me, do laundry with me. I think I'm completely out of my mind for wanting these things. I really do. I mean, what grown woman (or man) wold want to hang out with another non-family member that much, right?? My friends are perfect and normal. I am definitely odd man out on this matter.
I want that sense of camaraderie and closeness I felt when we were all young, in school, and couldn't leave the house without a pal in tow. Going to the movies meant rounding up all the usual suspects. Parties were frequent and robust. Dinners meant pushing tables together. These days, it's just so different.
Thank God my mom and Terry are in town. If they weren't I think I'd go crazy. They offer Anthony and I the only breaks from constant vigilance we ever get and they're game for anything. They babysit on a moment's notice, they take care of him in equal parts with us whenever they're with us, essentially sharing the load of responsibility, and they go anywhere with us. Imagine what bliss it would be to have a crew who would swap baby sitting and cook meals with us. Who would organize outings and tag along to ours.
I'd never thought of this before, but hell, I'm basically describing a freakin' commune! Oh, too funny.
I know. I'm complaining about what seems like nothing, but I can't help it. It's my silly malaise. I have such a rich life: a wonderful partner, a devoted family, supportive, loyal friends, my health, financial stability. Is it a good thing that I want more or a bad thing? Should I be happy with what I have or strive for even better? Is there a difference between being content and complacent? Hungry and greedy? There is, but I need to decide where I fall and then set my mind free. My hamster is sweaty and tired. He needs a rest from all the abuse I inflict on him.