Today I hosted our monthly book club with some girlfriends. It was my first time hosting since I joined and it was a lot of fun, just as it is every time I go. Some of these women are homeschoolers that I've known for a while, others are new friends that I've met through the book club.
The Book of the Month for June was Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent, Chronicles of a Modern Midwife. Now, a book like that naturally lends itself to rather intimate conversation and stories of birth. We had lots to say, about the book and about ourselves. And it wasn't just this book; every book we read leads to conversations about ourselves. In fact, I'd bet that for each session, which lasts 3-3.5 hours, we spend maybe 1 hour talking about the book, and the rest of the time just talking. It's a very chatty group!
One of the themes of today's discussion was the necessity for female support during childbirth. It's great that husbands are there now, and they have their place, but there is no substitute for another woman or two who can support you in ways your husband can't. Of course, of course, there are some great husbands who are amazing in the birthing room, and then there are the others who probably haven't a clue how to help. I loved having my husband with me, but it was my midwife, who knew how and when to touch me without getting yelled at!
That led to further discussion on the necessity for feminine companionship in our daily lives. We all seem to be so isolated today with all our busy-ness. We spend all day in the car, driving kids around, but how often do we get together with our women friends? I don't even talk on the phone as much as I used to when the kids were little. That is why I love this book club so much. It's the highlight of the month for me! And I think that's why we stay and...ahem..."cackle" for so many hours. We're all desperate for that woman-to-woman conversation.
I can only imagine what it was like when backyards were side-by-side and neighbors might be chatting over the fence while hanging out the wash to dry. Or spending a couple of hours as the laundromat with the other ladies once a week. Or walking to the park so the kids can swing and visiting with the neighbors there. We almost all have washers and dryers in the house; our swings are in the backyard. There are no sidewalks in the neighborhoods. There's no need to have a quilting bee to outfit a new bride's home. We don't have to help build a barn or a house. It's so hard to find a community these days! Now I might be a little more isolated because my kids don't go to school with the neighbors, but I don't think so. I've heard other neighbors say that they don't see anyone until the pool opens in the spring.
I think we've lost something very important in our modern society, and I'm loving this book club because it gives me an opportunity to connect with other women. Not just to cackle, but to also have intelligent conversation about the book we read (some of which are more intellectual than others).
How do you connect with other women? When do you connect with other women? Or are you lonely, too?