Yesterday I took both kids to a friend's house. She has a beautiful home with an amazing pool. We have been close since we had our daughters and the girls love to play together as well. She invited a few of the moms that we have known over these last few years, and everyone had two children now. It was a full house with so many little ones running around. The feeling in the air was part playful summer get together and part hectic drama control. We had short distracted conversations with wandering eyes to our kids running around us.
I feel very comfortable with these friends. We have experienced having our first children together and we all went through both trying and joyful times that first year or so. We have nothing to hide from one another and when other "new mom" friends have come and gone, these are the kind of people I think I will know for life. There are some differences in our styles and though I have no judgement to how any of them raise their kids, I just started to become aware of it recently. Twig has about four close friends that she likes to play with. Recently she asked me why we don't have a pool and all of her friends do. I would like to have a pool as well and hope to some day, and where it doesn't bother me that she asks about it now, I do wonder though what else she will notice she doesn't have that her friends do.
It is an important life lesson to learn that things aren't always equal. We all look around and see things we would like to have. I aspire to have nicer "stuff", take fancy vacations, get a massage, have my house cleaned more often, pay someone to organize my junk. The list goes on and on (at the moment I could really use a haircut). Some things are feasible and some aren't. I live in a city where the rich flaunt their toys and it is hard at times to not get distracted. I focus on gratitude quite a bit, and try to teach that to Twig, but for a child it is a bit more of a challenge. Everyone of these friends has a nanny. Some full time, some part, and these women not only watch their kids but also clean and cook as well. Most of my friends do work at least part time so they need an extra set of hands, but a nanny is more than that.
I have seen some friends treat their help, like just that: help. I have also seen these women treated like part of the family. Whichever way it goes the kids follow suit. That is the part that I think is tricky for me when I bring Twig over to other peoples houses. I make sure she knows everyones names and treats them nicely, but I wonder what she is thinking. The diversity in LA is a bit odd. It is such a segregated city both racially and economically. My husband and I were talking about moving to an area where it isn't so extreme but there aren't many to choose from. Coming from NewYork, I am not used to that.
My friend's nanny is awesome. She is on it. She had what seemed like an extra set of eyes and hands and was there helping out with a smile. She asked to hold Bud and said if I wanted time with Twig feel free to let her hold him. She even helped me change a rather messy diaper (now that is above and beyond). Before I left though she asked me if I am alone with my kids. If I have any help. When I replied that I don't she seemed shocked. She asked me if it was hard, and that don't I need some time here and there with my husband. I got the feeling she felt bad for me and my hard life. I might be way off here but did the nanny have a nanny when she raised her two sons. Perhaps she had a lot of family help, but does anyone just watch their kids anymore? I feel practicly alone in this, but I know I am not. I am just in a circle of people around me that do it differently. Not better not worse, but differently. Regardless, when I went to leave that day, I gathered my bags and kiddos and one of the mom's offered to help me out to the car. In moments like these I do not feel like I am at it alone. Women seem to instinctivly want to help other women. She helped me by strapping Twig into her seat and then asked me if the strap needed to be tightened or if it was as it should be. I answered that it was as it should be, and then thanked her and drove off. I thought about her question and for me right now, things are as they should be.