Something has happened to me...
Something that I swore would never happen to me...
It really is unthinkable in my mind, but here I sit, staring at the realization.
I have become a homebody...
I shudder even typing the word.
I know I am an introvert and I am okay with that. I need time and space to myself to get recharged and refreshed...that is just the way I tick.
That has been one of the biggest challenges for me in becoming a mother - especially a mother to toddler who now talks non-stop...like literally all.the.time. There are very few moments in my day where I breathe twice without hearing, "mom, Mom, MOM, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY, thaijeilareiogioheontiyweoijs!" The string of babble that usually escapes Little t's lips makes me laugh out loud. If I am honest, the constant Mommy thing doesn't. It drives me crazy sometimes. I just want to say, "I just want a second!" And honestly, sometimes I do say that...and then I feel guilty...and realize it doesn't phase him at all as he keeps going, 'MOMMY!"
Anyway, what was I really talking about??? Oh yes. Maybe it is this constant interaction/feedback with my son that has caused me to withdraw from interacting with others around me, I don't know.
I also tend to blame the weather...it is cold and I just don't jump at the chance to leave the one warm room in my house all that often...to even go to the bathroom, let alone go outside and down the street.
I also blame the kids who come play a few times a week. After they leave it takes me about a day to recover. Maybe it shouldn't be, but especially when it is too cold for them to play outside and they tear my house apart (stealing (candy, kleenexes, toys, crayons) walking across my table, getting into cupboards, telling me my house stinks, making and leaving huge messes) I find it very challenging. I do believe that it is good for everyone involved that they come...I keep telling myself that. But it is just hard. To wrangle 4 extra kids twice a week is a challenge.
I also blame Hope, angel khAla's daughter who is here working right now. Angel khAla broke her arm and is having trouble with it since having it set by a local bone-setter...but that is another soap-box for another blog post. So her daughter is here...way more than she needs to be...but I feel bad cutting her hours, knowing we are the only ones employing her right now and that we will be leaving soon too (for who knows how long). There is also the small technicality that really she isn't supposed to be here alone...so for that reason, I feel tied to home each morning right now.
So...there are a lot of places I can shift blame, but the fact remains:
I have become a homebody.
I am not engaging with my neighbors and community as much as I should.
I really can't use my outrageously social son as an excuse - he is giddy every time we go visit someone.
I can't use the cold as an excuse...it isn't that cold and everyone has a heated room with warm blankets (and hopefully not too many fleas).
I can't use the kids as an excuse, they don't come all the time and it is twice a week. Surely I can handle a handful of unruly kids! I mean, I live here for goodness sake! Disclaimer - I am not sure I can handle them...but I am hoping positive thinking will help?
I can't use Hope as an excuse anymore than I allow her to be an excuse...does that make sense on paper or only in my head?
Really, there are ways to make it work. I just have to make it work!
I think maybe I am grieving what interaction/relationship looks like here.
With the goat neighbors, it means that I am invited in and we exchange greetings. The t.v. is then turned on and occasionally the women stay in the room with me, occasionally they leave. After 40 minutes or so of sitting there with the t.v. blaring cooking shows in my ear, I excuse myself. And that is a good visit.
With the neighbors on the end of our block, it means helping the younger daughter with her English homework.
With other neighbors, it means discussing the weather, assuring them that I don't have medical problems (before I was pregnant), trying to convince them that my husband is not here with the military and is not a spy, and listening to a little family gossip.
I have to remind myself that the view of so many of my neighbors is SO small. That is not really on purpose, but just a fact of their lives. They barely go anywhere, most of them are uneducated and illiterate, and life revolves around their little walled compounds. Sad but true. Not that there is anything wrong with this...heck, it has become my life as well! But I find it limiting and sad in my interaction with them.
I am realizing, though that this doesn't get me off of the hook.
If anything, it should motivate me even more to get out there. I should be jumping at the chance to be a glimpse into the outside world for these women, to give them a taste of what freedom (true and pure and Godly freedom) can look like. I have a captive audience in some ways! As much as I hate the principle behind that, it is true and I am stupid for not taking advantage of that.
I look back at this summer when I was very proactive about interacting with neighbors and it was wonderful! I really enjoyed that time for what it was; simple, challenging, exciting, and hard. Little t and I both grew (and brought home fleas) and enjoyed life for what it was. All too often I find myself getting caught up in the what if's and daydreaming about another world instead of being present in the one that God has plopped me down in the middle of. I am jealous of myself for what I get to experience and do every day! And yet, I am not fully taking advantage of that.
So, I am going to work on putting myself out there...getting out to interact with people.
I have a skirt and a dress that I need made. A certain child growing in my stomach is making it a challenge to find clothes in my current wardrobe that fit! The woman down the street sews.
I haven't watched any good local cooking shows lately, so I will go visit the goat neighbors and learn how to cut tomatoes into flowers once again (they teach that on every show, but I still can't get the hang of it, no matter how many times I watch...).
I haven't heard the latest gossip, so I need a refresher course.
Little t has perfected some new dance moves to show off for the family of girls across the wall from us. He is probably dying for an audience.
I would like two minutes to myself, but I would also like to know that I spent the rest of my time wisely...not just huddled up in my warm room dreaming of a beach somewhere. The beach can wait, lives here cannot.