Monday, March 22, 2010
Soon after we married, dh and I moved into the super-cheap, cinder block, all-utilities paid on-campus "married housing". (My guess is BYU is the only university with what amounts to married dorms. That's a topic for another day.) The apartment was quite small and the walls dripped condensation in the winter. But it was close to campus and so CHEAP. We were happy to be there.
There were four buildings on our "quad" (hence the name) and they all faced in, with a greenbelt and tiny playground (again, only at BYU) in the middle. I felt this layout would lend itself well to impromptu BBQ dinners and someone pulling out their guitar to play "Edelweiss." Needless to say, we avoided the greenbelt.
I often thought of that quad as a sort of fishbowl for young marrieds. At night the glow of fluorescent light told everyone you were home. A bluish light indicated MOVIE NIGHT! We heard a few loud marital disputes and even some summer lovin'. (I know, gross. We didn't have A/C and everyone left their windows open).
Our first baby lived there with us for 6 weeks before dh graduated. It was then that I really appreciated the fishbowl. At 1:00 am (and 3:00, and 5:00), when Flash was crying his eyes out and I couldn't figure out why I opened the blinds and looked out at the fishbowl. Without fail, there were other lights on. By then I knew the other residents--I knew who had a baby of their own, who was in law school, who was pre-med. I felt a certain kinship and even encouragement as I looked out. This was part of being an adult. Part of being a mom. I could do it.
Recently a friend was (sort of) railing on bloggers. She feels bloggers are probably internet addicts. They have nothing better to do. They are neglectful parents. I tried to explain it, but I probably failed. If I could have that conversation again I would describe it in terms of the fishbowl. No matter what your life is right now, you can look out and find someone who gets it.