WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Life at Home

Just 100 years ago, we all spent a great deal of time at home.

Before the industrial era humans were homebodies. We spent a lot more time with our parents. Children often went to work with their parents(which was often based at the home). School was at home. Eating was at home. For many, Church on Sunday was the only day they might leave their home for weeks on end. We raised much of our food at home. We gave birth at home. Our children grew up and lived at home(or built a house close by)Being home was the standard for 100's of years. The traveler, the wanderer, the gypsy was seen with some suspicious if they could not find happiness within the confines of the their home and family.

We are at home. Admittedly, we have always been home more then many of our suburban counterparts. I grew up rurally and was raised to be comfortable at home much of my time- most in our community spent more time at home or close to home in general. Going out to eat happened a couple times a year, not daily. We went to school but until high school we did not have much as far as after school activities. We did Soccer practice or games, or baseball games on Saturday. An evening on a weekday for practice or boy scouts was not a common occurrence. Unheard of for children under the age of 7-8 for sure. We came home from school had a snack,did our homework and if we had daylight(rain or shine)we played. After dinner we helped with dishes,chores and spent our time with family. We went to bed freshly bathed no later then 8pm. Abby has always been limited on energy. Even at her best attending school was as much as she could do and needed to be home after a day to nap,eat and rest. Play dates were only for the weekend when she could recharge.

Today, starting at dawn the "normal" for many Americans is to get up,get dressed and leave the home. Off to daycare or school, off to grab McDonalds or starbucks, both parents to work, kids at school or daycare then school,the gym, lunches,ladies clubs,Mom clubs,charity clubs and activities, then after school daycare or lessons, running out to eat and finally making it home by 7pm and usually a much later bedtime then 8pm, is considered very NORMAL. Middle class families often pay for workers to care for their homes, to do their lawns,dry cleaning,housekeeping, home repairs even raise their children for them. I remember very well what type of work a broken septic tank had in store. Today we hire someone specially trained, certified. After all time is money right?

If we could transport someone in a time machine(so I have an active imagination-)to 2013 from 1913 how weird our society would seem to them!

I know there have been times Abby has wished more then anything to have the energy to even shower herself when she is sick. I am certain she has longed to participate outside of the house more, even a quick shop now and then that didn't half kill her, but she is pretty content overall. We have an incredibly rich life at home. I often thank our lucky stars for the internet and cable.

Over the past 40 years especially, we have pushed for acceptance of various populations. From those who lead alternative lifestyles to those with disabilities. We have made huge strides to provide equal rights to various populations that were once shunned.

The Hermit however has been deemed crazy - why is that? Though the definition of hermit has changed,(maybe today 1 that stays home 5 days a week to be with their family and 100 years ago 1 who stayed home for months at a time and avoided their family) the prejudice has stuck.

Odds are your local hermit probably has a very good reason to be at home. I am betting many that we assume are "hermits" probably have health issues that prevent them from getting out more.

A lot of us have found great joy in our lifestyle- to our surprise and yours. Despite the reasons that have kept us home bound we are an optimistic group who enjoy making lemonade out of lemons. To our joy, the internet has finally allowed us all to network- we get the best of everything as hermits. We get the contact without the energy. Our lives are very good.

I bow to those that go-go from dawn till dusk! How you do it is beyond me... Honestly, I feel just a little guilty of my comfortable, indulgent lifestyle. Even if Abby suddenly got better tomorrow I would be loath to rejoin the masses in route to the daycare,coffee,gym, school,shopping,lunch,clubs,lessons,classes,work, and all the other activities that keep us from our homes 6 days a week these days.

But, I don't judge you for being on the go, we would like to think you don't judge the hermit either.

With your I-phone via blue tooth while waiting in the dry cleaning drive thru, or starbucks drive thru, or pharmacy drive thru- call a hermit- every family has at least one. Odds are they are home chatting with their online friends, or gardening or reading. Though they may not lead your busy lifestyle because their health prevents it,they enjoy hearing about it.

Hermit doesn't mean crazy. Living a "hermit" lifestyle isn't bad, just different.


Anonymous said...

As always you wirte so well. Much to be learnt from this.
Now we are home schooling time and time again that word socialization comes up. What does it really mean especially for a 6 year old.
He now has enough energy to go the park when the other kids are there after school and attend the youth group with his older brother.
Children need time to rest, and use their imaginations.
I do wonder what will be happening to this generation of children who are so fast paced.
The internet and technology has its place but so many are just constantly plugged in.

Diane said...

Jo, Abby said to send you hugs! She said she went to school with other kids that struggled to make it through the day and their parents were adamant they stay at the school instead of home- she said knowing we support her either at home or at school based on what she wants is one of the greatest reassurances to her. She applauds any parent who puts their child's health above what society claims is "normal"- clearly, normal doesn't work when your body isn't normal. Abby says she knows she would not be half as healthy as she is today if I had insisted on a "normal" life. Different,unique or individual are healthier choices with low energy at least for us and some others. When Abby home schooled she had so much more energy to actually get to play like a "normal" kid. " socialize" like a normal kid- who care's if she did her school work in her Pj's? Plus, it took all of 30 minutes to do a day's worth of public school curriculum when it wasn't interrupted - 30-1 hour was so much easier on her. Happiness,health first- Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Please tell Abby I realy value her hugs and sharing this with me. I needed it today.
Been struggling with itchy, sore red eyes over past few days for him. Sure it is mast cell related, probaly to the cold wind and that virus hit his system hard.
Tongiht he is much beter. Thankfully he can tolerate antihistmines. So those with plenty of fluids have helped alot.
Thansk and hugs to you both.

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