Monday 23 August 2010

Universe Expanding

Monday 21st June

I put a note on the single mum’s boat with my phone number. She called me at lunch time and we went for coffee in the afternoon, with the babes and my big girl toddler. Her baby daughter is wearing shiny silver and black pirate shoes with the Jolly Rodger on the toes. Talking about being mothers and boaters. I told her that she is the hard core one for being a single mum living aboard. But she is impressed by my birth story she heard by towpath telegraph: Baby Sister’s two hour labour and then born on board, delivered by The Doctor (who is not that kind of doctor!) before the midwives or ambulances arrived.
“The word is, you were even going to go to the pub afterwards!”
We were! (And we would have got away with it too if those pesky midwives hadn’t called us into hospital for tests).
Single Boat Mum moves around with a couple of other boats,
“Like a little family!” I’d love to do that. She says that I can join them.

We shared and exchanged useful local information and thought we should make a website, Boat-Mums-Net which tells you your nearest launderette, playground, sandpit, baby friendly cafe, children’s centre etcetera. It would be for a very small niche market!

This idea eventually became my Boat Families Facebook group which now has over 700 members.

She debates how long she could or should live aboard with a child. I confess to her how hard I’m finding it all with two, and I say if she’s finding it hard I know a good book she can borrow.
“’What Mothers Do’*?” She guesses correctly. “I’m reading it right now, but I don’t find it all too hard darlin’. I am just so happy to have my baby.” She asks me,
“What is the hardest part, do you think?”
“Sleep deprivation.” I said. “Not getting enough sleep. Feeling tired all the time. So I suppose, that at least, would be the same in a house, and nothing to do with boating.”

Yesterday I had my legs waxed. Today my eldest daughter keeps smoothing down her legs.
“Look Mummy, feel how smooth: I’ve had my legs whacked!”

The weather is gorgeously hot, the girls look so cute in sun hats and sundresses. The towpath and park are bursting with wild meadow flowers. Big Sister plays with water and plastic ducks in a bucket on the back deck.

The Doctor has a scientific paper on parallel universes that is lying on the table because I intend to read it at some point, in my spare time! So, we keep talking about that idea and the nature of reality. Is the universe infinite or finite? The Doctor said, recently scientists have discovered that since the Big Bang the expansion of the universe is speeding up. I said that is consistent with all life forms on earth multiplying and expanding in any way they can. Somebody once said “life is the universe experiencing itself,” and on an individual level the biggest force in our lives right now is that we are completely focussed on our kids, our reproduction, our expansion, our repeating of the pattern. Experience, expand and grow, experience, expand my children. Matter is replicating itself.

A friend of The Doctor’s, The Pub Landlord, phoned today, to announce that his girlfriend has just discovered she’s about five months pregnant! The landlord and lady were both surprised: Expanding! Life is expanding.

*What Mothers Do (especially when it looks like nothing) – Naomi Stadlen.
What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing

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