I wonder what truly defines ordinariness. Does it mean something that happens every day, or every week? Or if it isn’t repetition that sets it apart is it the activity itself that needs to be mundane? It’s a fairly theoretical question I know because at the end of the day this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want; to a degree, I make the definitions.
But it crossed my mind this week because my ‘ordinary moment’ this week was both incredibly ordinary and in the same breath much rarer and therefore more treasured than I would have it be in an ideal world.
My sister came to visit.
She and the small nephew drove up to spend the day with all of us, and to deliver a bag of baby boy clothes in Pip’s next size up mere moments before that young gentleman decides to have another growth spurt and spring out of his current vests and babygros, and it was wonderful to see them.
We played Brio trains, we made soup of both the real and play kitchen varieties, we watched most of the contents of the bookcase being happily emptied all over the floor, we sat and sang nursery rhymes and made as much racket as possible with every toddler friendly musical instrument we could find in the house, we confused both Elma and the nephew by referring to each other as “Auntie” before we gave up and declared a universal “Mummy” for the day (shades of answering to each other’s names as children!), and in a moment of either madness or brilliance we lined three small children up around my kitchen counter to pour or stir the ingredients to the loaf of bread for lunch (they did a great job, it was yummy).
And then as the clouds cleared and the sun came out to play we took all four up to the play park to run off some of their shared energy.
Through all of that we had a chance to catch up, to perch on tiny toadstools and talk about our families and our family, to compare notes as we both choose schools or nursery schools for next year, to put those years of French lessons to good use as Christmas present code.
We speak on the phone all the time, and face time as often as we’re both in front of the computer at the same lunchtime, but it isn’t quite the same as hanging out together, there are fewer hugs for one thing. There’s something so very familiar and comfortable about being with your sister, something that’s different to even the closest of close friends, something that only comes with 32-odd years of shared history. And I think that’s been amplified by our both becoming mothers, especially since Elma and the small nephew arrived with a few months of each other; we’re finding our way through the motherhood maze in good company and I love that we’ve got each other to bounce ideas and concerns around, and even if we don’t always reach the same conclusion or make different choices for our different children, it’s entirely without judgment.
It would be so much fun to meet up every week, but we’re living the closest to each other that we have since we lived in the same house, and that’s still a two hour drive away, so I think that’s a little unlikely right now, and instead I’ll treasure the days when we can meet up, days filled with such day to day ordinariness, elevated to special because there aren’t half enough of them.