gelled

It’s been awhile…but it’s time for another Sluiter Nation Recruit!  Forget what a Recruit is?  Go read all about it here!

This week I am bringing you another fabulous writer.  So much of this blog world for me is reading blogs that sound like someone is actually talking to me.  Blogs that sound like robots are just blah.

Missy is one of those fabulous writers.  Her blog, Literal Mom, is a mix of all things mom.  It reminds me of Real Simple, but less like reading articles and more like having coffee with a friend.

I can’t imagine her not fitting in anywhere she goes, but she is here to tell you that sometimes?  That is the case.

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“You’ll never fit in here.  Your kids might, but you never will.”

When we moved to our home, the home we’ve lived in, gotten married during, created and raised children in and become “grown-ups” in, we were elated to find a nice section of our city, close to downtown (where we both worked), but still “suburb-y.”

We knew nothing about the A+ school system, the multiple generations who live here, coming back after college to live their lives the way they were raised, or the areas you choose to live in (as in “central,” “north,” or “south,” in order of most people’s preference).

We just loved the house we’d found at the wee little ages of 23 and 25 and we loved that we didn’t have to take a highway to get to work anymore.

Time passed.  A marriage happened.  Kids arrived.  I decided to stay at home with the kids.  We met people.  Made friends.  All was good.

And then, one night at a party or some social function, the quote up there was delivered to us, smugly, with the satisfaction of knowing THIS was the truth.  They belonged.  We didn’t.

Up until that moment, we’d never thought about “who belongs” and “who didn’t” in our suburb.  We just liked where we lived.  We liked the people we’d met and befriended.  We liked the couple who said this to us!

But of course the seed of doubt was planted.  And we started noticing things.

The family at the ice cream shop who asked us where we lived and when we told them “north,” they said, “well you’ll want to change that and get into “central” as soon as you can.”

Or a fellow attorney who told me that if we really wanted to get “into the fish bowl, instead of watching from outside,” we should have kids sooner rather than later.

My husband, being a man, has never been truly bothered by this.  I, being a woman, sometimes have.  Sometimes it hurts to feel “less than” merely by the fact that you didn’t grow up in a place.  Sometimes it’s hard to learn I may never fit in here simply by being from “out of town.”

But it’s really ok.  You know why?  Because I left my home town for the exact reason most people come BACK to this community we live in.

I wanted to become who I needed to be in life, not just go back to a town that had already decided who I was as a teenager.  So I moved away and haven’t regretted it for one minute.

And here where we are?  I think we finally “belong,” but in a different way than the couple at the top said.

Last Spring for my 40th birthday, I picked 5 couples I really liked.  Couples who didn’t bring drama wherever they went.  Couples who both of us like the husband and the wife (and that’s sometimes not easy!).  Couples who also didn’t grow up here.  A few even live in a different suburb.

And we had a blast.  We all clicked.  Bonded.  Gelled.  And since my birthday, we’ve gone out together several times and it’s the same easy, relaxed, supportive good time every time.  Everyone is genuine, enthusiastic. Supportive, fun-loving.  It works.

And after 15 years here, I feel that we finally belong.

In a different way.

A better way.

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Literal Mom – Founded in March 2011, it encourages parents to be thinking parents and uses wit, humor and sometimes even tears to make her point (on the blog and with her kids).  

Missy is the youngest of 6 and an only child, if you can imagine that.  Former criminal defense attorney turned stay at home mom, turned volunteer who has a really hard time saying no to a good cause or a good friend who asks.  But writing and connecting with others is where her heart truly lies.

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