Thursday, 31 May 2012

I wanna hold your hand

Scene: At the playground

Lady: "Hi"
Me: "Hi"
Lady: "You're boys seem to play so nicely, they are very nice to my son."
Me: "Oh, I'm glad to hear that."
Lady:  "Mine is that one over there, the one with the rather large head."
Me:  "That's funny, I was just talking to my sister-in-law about how large my son's head is."
(chat about large headed boys ensue)
Me: "How old is your little baby?"
Lady: "She's two months.  How old is yours?"
Me:  "Two months."
Lady:  "She was born on April 2."
Me: "Mine was born on April 2 as well."
Lady:  "Huh, what's her name."
Me:  "Ruby."
Lady:  "That's such a great name, we were going to name my oldest Ruby if he had been a girl."
Me:  "What did you name your baby?"
Lady:  "Finn."
Me:  "Wow, my sister named her little girl Finnlay......Gee, it's like we're cosmically connected."
Lady:  "Ya."
Me:  "Well, I need to go get my son ready for kindergarten.  It was nice meeting you, I hope I run into you again sometime."
Lady:  "Yes, it was nice meeting you as well, I'm sure we will see you again soon, I'm at this park a lot."
Me: "Bye."
Lady:  "Bye."

Things I have in common with this lady:
1) a son with a big head.
2) a daughter born on April 2 2012
3) a love of the name Ruby
4) the name Finn which is an indirect commonality as it links first to my sister but a link nonetheless.
5) a need to visit the neighbourhood spraypark often.

That's it.  That's my current idea of having a lot in common with someone.  These commonalities have nothing to do with my philosophy on life, or my take on politics or a particular passion/hobby of mine - they all do however have something to do with the fact that I am a woman and a mother and she is a woman and a mother.  I can't really think of a better reason to connect.  I think women are supposed to connect, support, help, love each other....just because we are women.

I was watching Oliver play soccer the other day when suddenly the (rather intense and a little bit grumpy) coach barked "NO HOLDING HANDS ON THE SOCCER FIELD."  The instruction was directed at two little girls on Oliver's team who were in fact holding hands in the middle of the game.  Not the first time I've seen this - a few months ago during another one of Oliver's soccer games I witnessed two girls holding each others hands as they twirled around and around.   Why weren't they fighting each other for the ball?  Why were they more interested in connecting with each other rather than competing against each other?  

I know women can be competitive and combative.  Not all women hold hands and twirl around with each other - but maybe we should a lot more often than we do. 

I want to say something complicated and am not sure how.  I guess I'm thinking back to when women were fighting for equal rights and equal opportunities, it saddens me that women didn't then see their posts as wives and mothers as being equal.  I am a stay at home mom and it is the most difficult job I've ever had and I guess I just don't understand what the women before me were thinking when they decided that instead of demanding the respect and honour that wives and mothers deserved they declared those roles as menial, beneath them - a lower class effort.  When they talked about equality, they meant paychecks and promotions.

Sometimes I feel like 1950's rerun, a dinosaur at times.  I just wish that instead of rushing into the workforce because women were unsatisfied with staying at home they just thought about what they could do collectively to improve their posts as mothers and come up with ideas as to how society could better support their efforts as mothers, respect their efforts as women.  What if there could have been a whole different life for a woman that included education, babies, fulfillment, connectedness - that was less patterned after a man's way of life and more after a woman's natural tendencies and inclinations....towards holding hands and spinning around in a circle.

I don't know what I'm writing, it's after midnight, Ruby is sleeping on my chest as I type.  I'm happy with my choices, just sometimes I wonder....


Bonnie White said...

Your wondering has picked at a few scabs carefully hidden away.I agree that women can be combative and competitive. It always takes my breath away when I experience or witness it. An negative outcome of women's rights was the SAHM's banishment and exile. When scientists study our culture several hundred years from now, they will certainly point to the contribution of a stay at home mom and wonder why we didn't value and encourage her more.

Char said...

Well said Bonnie. Thanks for the comment (and the extremely adorable tea set for Ruby!!) So many highly educated women I know go off to work and leave their children to be raised by women with little or no education. My sister once pointed out that it might not be to our society's advantage to leave the task of raising our young to the least educated of us. I could go on...
thanks for validating my thoughts.

ty said...

It's interesting how when there are causes, however good, that usually both good and bad people will be leading the charge on both sides, either to help, or ride the waves of power. It seems to me that the feminists who have been against SOHMs are as bad as the men who take them for granted and use them. Equality isn't a pendulum swinging from one extreme to another.

The coach seems kind of silly yelling "no holding hands allow!" Sometimes adults miss the point :o)

Mandi said...

I love this post! Such a beautiful anecdote. I hope your summer is going well. Hey, guess what? I gave your blog an award: