So yesterday I baked an apple pie and E, Baby Evan and I headed over to my friend Cheri’s house to help her build a barn. OK, not really a barn. She just needed help demoing her flood-damaged basement and hauling a literal ton of wet sheetrock, carpet and trash out to the dumpster. The pie part was real though.
Telling your husband he has to spend his Sunday on someone else’s construction project instead of relaxing and watching hockey (NOT THAT IT MATTERED ANYWAYS STUPID REDWINGS) is a pretty hard sell. But a friend was in need. Plus I promised there would be beer and sausage.
I showed up ready to work too, but there were plenty of guys to do the heavy lifting so us women-folk minded the young’uns, handled the cooking and worked on our knitting. If someone had suddenly handed out sun bonnets and prarie dresses I don’t think I would have been the least bit surprised.
Although my feminist, equality minded side wanted to yell about how I could do manual labor too and why didn’t the men chop up these carrots, the whole day was lovely. Plus I didn’t get dirty or ruin my manicure! (Kidding. I don’t have a manicure. And I’m always dirty.) There’s a reason people used to hold barn-raisings and it’s not just because barns are really heavy. Having friends and neighbors to share your work and lend a hand not only makes everything easier, it also builds a sense of community and support. With so many of us living hundreds or thousands of miles away from our family, we need those kinds of friendships. I need someone to call in case I become trapped under something heavy. I need other moms to talk about sleep schedules and poop and nipple pain with. I need somewhere to go that involves adult conversation even while I’ve got a boob hanging out of my shirt. And as lovely as the internet is, I cannot rely on a series of tubes to watch my baby while I paint my kitchen. So these friends, this wagon train, these barn-raisers, are the best thing that’s happened to me since Baby Evan.