I have a wonderful new neighbour, Dawn, and she seems to be the perfect domestic goddess earth mother. I’ve only lived here 8 weeks but so far, I’ve been lucky enough to taste her chocolate chip organic cookies, gluten free flapjacks, her perfectly risen Victoria Sponge worthy of a mention on Bake Off and plenty more other goodies. She doesn’t even seem to try hard and this is where my inner 10 year old starts to feel unworthy and inadequate.
Not only does Dawn make delicious as well as healthy treats for her 3 children, she grows most of the ingredients in her garden and so far, I’ve not seen her have a bad hair day. I had coffee in her conservatory last week as she pointed out her rows of vegetables seedlings, fruit and potato crops all ready to be planted. I was so glad she couldn’t see my sorrowful wilted mostly dead Basil plant on my window sill which is begging to be thrown away. Like her thriving seedlings, her children seem utterly lovely; they are all polite, happy to chat to adults and Tom, her strapping 19 year old good looking son is about to go off on a self funded gap year to build schools for children in a war ravaged African country.
I was loading Baby S and all the necessary baby paraphernalia into my people carrier when my Goddess neighbour stopped by my driveway. She invited J over to play with her younger son, as he was making paper mache Aztec masks. She also mentioned that there would be home made gluten free super food cookies. J would be nervous about going but he loves arts and crafts so I knew he’d be persuaded. As I was clipping a wriggling Baby S into the car seat, Goddess Neighbour leans in and asks how revision is going as she couldn’t help over hearing my little ‘talk’ with M in the garden last week. I know she meant well, but my Momma Bear inner beast reared up and I found myself stutteringly explaining how well M has done and how hard she has worked in the last year. Dawn patted my hand helpfully and said she remembers how hard it was with Tom and how disappointed he was only got 4 A*’s instead of the predicted 7.
Dawn is actually very nice, she just irritatingly excels at everything! Rather surprisingly, she seems to like me and she ended up having coffee at my breakfast bar the next day bringing home made carrot cake with her. As we were chatting and getting to know each other, M walks in, still in her PJ’s and hands me a sheath of papers. It turns out she had downloaded past GCSE English papers and had already done 2 hours revision. My heart swelled with pride and I couldn’t help but be thankful for her timing. She was polite to Dawn, mapped out her day to me and had a slice of carrot cake for breakfast.
There is always someone smarter, better prepared with a bigger house, a top of the range car or just seems to have their life together better on the day you see them. Later that afternoon as I offered cake to Hubby, M popped her head round the corner and said ‘If it’s the cake from the cray cray lady next door, don’t bother, it’s like the bottom of a bird cage.’ After M dropped her bombshell it made me wonder if my insecurities had overwhelmed my judgement and she was just a normal human after all and not some super powered, super organised woman, sent to make me look bad.
Two days later, Dawn texted me (yes, we are now coffee text buddies) that she needed coffee as her son was driving her crazy and did I want to come over? We sat outside on her immaculate patio as she poured out the problems she was having with Tom and his girlfriend. She sighed and said ‘his girlfriend’s mum is such a snob, we’re not good enough for their family apparently…’ She elaborated but I missed most of it, still in shock that Dawn was feeling inadequate and insecure… Just like me.
I think Dawn and I are going to be good neighbours – that is until she sees my neglected garden and tastes my homemade cookies! However, I shouldn’t care as J and Hubby love my misshapen, slightly overcooked cookies and I’ve overcome my insecurities to allow this lovely lady into my life. I am good enough!