Sunday, December 02, 2007

The final snub...

Twelves weeks after Erik was born, I was invited to attend the new mothers' group at my local Maternal and Child Health Centre. There I met about 11 other families with children up to 8 weeks younger... Over the next nearly three years I kept meeting up with this families at least every month, often every week... Then we moved to Bendigo, and we only caught up with the remaining families (those who had not moved away from the area or otherwise decided the group wasn't for them) a couple of times. The last time was when we went to one little boy's birthday (Jen, that's would be Nicolas, Bee's son), when he turned 4. A little while later we moved back to Melbourne and a year after that we moved back to our local area. When we moved back here I called the family we'd been the closest to and found out they only lived a few streets away from us now. I said that if any families were still meeting up, could this mum let me know, and she said they only very rarely met up back then, but she would. That was three years ago, and I never heard back.

It was a shame because Erik had been quite close to this woman's daughter, and Luey was only 6 months older than her son, but I figured the group just wasn't meeting anymore. Until today.

Despite living the same area, only streets apart for the past few years, I'd never seen this mum or her daughter up at the shops. I knew they preferred shopping at another centre so thought little of it. Dave had once seen the dad, who works locally as well, but the dad had been some distance off and Dave hadn't called out to him or anything.

This morning we had to go to Target to buy Erik some swimmers. So, it became one of the rare occassions these days when all five of us went out together. When we got to the shopping centre we found that Target wouldn't be open for another hour, so we did our grocery shopping, then went and got a cold drink each before heading up to Target. As we approached the Target doors we'd stopped to let the boys throw away their drink cups, and who should walk by, only 2 metres away but this mum and her daughter. I saw her, and she definitely saw me, then turned to her daughter and told her to hurry up and then basically sped by us into Target. We follow them in without trying to get their attention and that was the last we saw of them.

At the time I just thought, oh well, she didn't want to stop and say hi, she was in a hurry, but of course this has played on my mind ever since. It would not have cost her anything to say a quick hi, and having not seen each other in 4 years and a bit, it would have been a nice quick hello to make. She actively choice to ignore our presence there and it actually hurt my feelings.

I've been sitting here telling myself it doesn't matter. I have so many good friends, but why is it this has affected me. I think it's because I never did fit in so well in that group, but they didn't reject me either, and in fact I was quite friendly with this mum and another mum, but now I wonder if they just tolerated me and my weird extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, homeschooling, non-vaccinating self.

These days, we "pass for normal" as Leah would put it, the boys don't still breastfeeding, they sleep in their own beds, they go to school, and well no one can tell by looking at them that they aren't vaccinated, and so I guess now, more than ever I expect to be accepted - coz, honestly, I'm such a great person to know...

Ah, the old ghosts of rejection and alienation, thought I'd gotten free of them...

4 comments:

Nic,Beren & Freya said...

(hugs) I hate that kind of thing, it only takes 5 seconds to wave and say hello.

Rae said...

Oh ((HUGS)) and Poo to her!

loz said...

Rudeness is about all I can say. Let it go it is her problem and probably has absolutely nothing to so with you being different to them but in their/ her own insecurities!

Clel said...

How mean. Is it petty to take heart in the fact that she knows you know, and she'll feel guilty in the dead of night when she can't sleep...

Teenagers and the failing parent...