kitchens & other nosinesses
one of my favorite things is walking down little london side roads at night. when i can peek in windows. dalmatian statues, birdcage chandeliers, bustling dinner parties, commercial grade wet bars, “i’ll be missing you” karaoke, a little old woman who sits & watches television every single night with a picture of what could only be her grandson close by. you see (and sometimes hear) so much.
one of my other favorite (nosey) things is being in another woman’s kitchen. the intimacy that occurs when you are able to sneak a peek at this side of her. watch her in action as she does what she does, serving, cleaning, caring, multi-tasking, conversing, living. maybe it’s the area that we all allow a little bit of a mess into, and as a sucker for vulnerability, i love the opportunity to go there.
today i spent the day in the kitchen of a lovely new friend.
my lovely new friend is originally from iran, spent her formidable years in sweden, then to london, back to sweden, now in london for good. my new friend has 4 children. in london. and when you stand out with 3 little children in london, i’d imagine you really stand out with 4 children in london. she has a special needs child, a very sweet son, and rambunctious twin 2 year old girls. my friend could have a lot to talk about, a lot of story to share. but you know what she spent most of the time doing? smiling. a beautiful, beautiful smile. and offering me persian cakes.
our children made a wonderful mess in every room of the house and we connected in a “yes, this is what kids are supposed to do…” unspoken moment. really, one that i have missed in some of our other playdates we have had since moving. our eyes met- our upbringing & traditions & faiths & language all very different- but in that moment, in the comfort of her kitchen, the hum of the dishwasher, the need to wipe off an extra plate to feed one of our 7 children between us, our woman hearts met.
and when your hearts meet on something as simple as allowing kids to be kids? it represents a lot. and sets a really beautiful tone for spending time together.
i have spent a lot of time talking about the challenge of being a woman. today i’m so thankful for it. for the priceless connection with other women. for the stories that we each are writing with our lives and the opportunity to contribute to one another’s chapters. or even just a couple of sentences.
in The Gift of Imperfection, brene brown says:
There’s no such thing as selective emotional numbing. There is a full spectrum of human emotions and when we numb the dark, we numb the light. While I was “taking the edge off” of the pain and vulnerability, I was also unintentionally dulling my experiences of good feelings, like joy.”
and i dare say that this could apply to the spectrum of fully being a woman. or even fully being in community with one another.
a couple of weeks ago, i came home and my sitter relayed a conversation that occured
…fallon has decided recently that she would like to be a teacher at her school when she grows up. a teacher mixed with a mom, she says. after telling megan all about this, megan turned the question to savvy. “savs” (she calls her) “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
savvy: (thinking..) “sherwin.”
…the aforementioned sweet son that we had a playdate with this morning.