Most Fridays, I participate in the 5 Minute Friday link-up with the lovely Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama. We write our hearts out in 5 minutes. No editing, no waiting for the most beautiful, most perfect, most killer blog. We write…cause we are a community of writers.
We are community.
We live in source code, HTML, a series of 1’s and 0’s. For the first time, we shrink ourselves down to 1 inch squares, smiling as we fill up our Twitter feeds, Facebook pages.
We are a community.
From the first clicks to the blog posts, we write and savor and eat up each others’ hard fought victories, our moments of despair, our moments of change.
We are community.
This morning, I can’t sip my coffee with mocha and Almond Joy creamer without thinking of my #coffeeclub friends. I think of Alise and Liza and Joy and Tamara–our mantra: coffee, prayer, and donkey balls. I love their open hearts and hands and willingness to cry with each other, to enjoy that double meaning one liner, and to make the blogosphere not so cliquey and shit.
We are community.
Now, you go write and link up too! And why not subscribe and be a part of my community?
Foam meal cartons, chicken tenders, green beans, slaw filled to them brim. The price includes a dessert, a Pepsi, and the feel goodness of supporting a struggling family. A typical benefit dinner in a typical small Southern town. We have no dinner resturants so Friday night benefit dinners draw the whole town to the Fire Station. We eat around folding plastic tables where fire trucks usually slumber. Our mouths too full to talk at first, then we swallow and the flurry of words spills out.
All round us people laugh and talk and smile. Men slap each other on the back, and women swirl from table to table hugging, greeting, chatting. My kids join the throng of friends, classmates who have escaped the stuffy building for the cool, muggy outside air. Soon my husband disappears like the others gone outside. I’m alone. Even in the crowd of people, I’m alone. I scan the crowd, but all of the faces look familiar and strange. But the conversation still buzzes around me.
Yes, I live in the small town, everyone knows your name town. The epitome of rural life. But only if you were born here, only if your kin have lived on the same street for years. Not for people who hail from another state, another city, another small town like me.
I am the outsider.
Scene change, the pews forest green or blue or red, whatever in vogue color for padding. A dewy morning, a Mother’s Day morning. The church filled with children and their mothers, grandmothers, wearing corsages of red and white flowers. We sit in the back pews and admire the special Sunday school crafts for the mothers. Crafts, I won’t be given. The “I made this for mom” or “you’re not a real mom, you didn’t have any kids” cut like daggers, but I’ve heard them ever since I began doing this full time mothering thing.
During the service, all mothers stand recognized for another year of loving, giving, sacrificing, and I stand too. I feel the looks of the other women not so comfortable with the word “step” in front of the word “mother.” Perhaps, I make them uncomfortable since I became a mother through my husband’s divorce. Perhaps, they put too much stock in Disney’s Cinderella. I don’t know, but they don’t say anything. Silence speaks more than words.
Sometimes, they ask when it will be my turn. To have a baby, to procreate, to legitimatize my role as mother. I joke about only wanting puppies or kittens or something called a career or now’s not the best time(not sure if there ever is). Perhaps, it is impossible for people in the church to fathom how a 30 year old’s biological clock isn’t sending out its usual siren song–babies, babies, BABIES! Maybe, mine’s just broken. Again, I’m left on the fringes. Outside the safe, normal realm of being a mother.
I both loathe and love being an outsider. Perhaps, it is just easier to watch, to sit back and wait, to avoid hurt. I have grown accustomed to being on the fringes.