When one of the friendly young Mums at Early Years Playgroup took me aside and invited me to the smaller, private "Mom's group" that a few of them organized every Thursday, I was secretly quite chuffed. Yes! The other moms actually thought I was cool enough to make the cut to their own group!
I haven't made too many new friends up in the Kink (although I hang out frequently with several of D's female rellies), so I hoped that joining the Thursday Mom club would furnish me with a few opportunities to pally up to some nice women. D is forever moaning about how I don't have enough "girlfriends" up here. I think he was even more pleased than I was about joining the group.
Jade and I quite enjoy our Thursday afternoon visits to the various homes and getting to know the moms and their babies. I've become pals with the lovely woman who initially invited me and we've gone for coffee a few times. The other ladies are equally cordial and easy to talk to, so I'm quite pleased to be part of their little Thursday baby gang. We laugh, we commiserate, we exchange pooptastrophe stories and goofy husband gaffes. It's fun.
The only thing that worries me is this: I've offered to host in a few weeks, and deep down, I'm afraid the ladies are going to be horrified with my house.
Every home I've visited on Thursday afternoons has been huge, new and completely spic and span. Even the places with pets seem mysteriously hair and whisker free. It's enough to make my eyes bug out - these are new moms! Where do they find the time - let alone the energy - to clean?? Yow.
I've noticed that each home has beautiful tiled floors in the kitchen, and laminate or hardwood throughout the rest of the open-concept living spaces. Plus, each house features a cavernous finished rec room, complete with giant screen TVs and beautiful fireplaces, and a yawning expanse of floor for the babies to play on.
No one has puckered linoleum, or slanted floors; no one has torn screen doors where their dogs have repeatedly begged entrance. I haven't seen a single rusty toilet or unpainted garage. Everyone's lawns look like they've been professionally landscaped - no one is living in a sea of mud thanks to a recent septic mishap.
Normally, I could care less about material things or what other people think of the way I live, so I don't know why this is niggling at me so much. I guess most of these moms are ten to nearly twenty years my junior; likely none of them have much experience living in old houses the way I have. I grew up in a 100 year old house; my house in Waterloo was 70 years old, and Someday was built in 1917. And Someday isn't without its charms: the gorgeous wood trim throughout the house, the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, the mature trees and the two acres that are our very own. I adore the personality and quirks of a building that's been well-lived in - but I'm having my eyes opened to the fact that most people nowadays choose to live in brand new, sparkly houses that they had some hand in designing. And those houses look like a lot less work than mine is. I suppose an old house is always a work in progress, whereas a new house is a completed entity with no surprises.
Well, it's not a competition, after all, and I'm likely not giving these nice women enough credit. They're coming for a visit, not to judge. And in a way, I'm excited to host folks here - I've fallen out of practice in hostessing lately, and I want Jade to see what it's like to have people over at her house. I'm hoping she blossoms socially and inherits her Baba's penchant for entertaining. And none of her mother's fits of inadequacy.