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A Little Look at My World

Let me state it outright: I love my Grosse Pointes. I'm addicted to the green lawns, friendly wide sidewalks and lakeside parks. And I especially love the Grosse Pointe Moms Club.

I am a member of this so-called “elite” group of stay-at-home parents and we are featured in this week's edition of Time magazine. Please buy the edition so you can read the whole story. But there is a great pictorial online. Check it out here.

The story focuses on how the club, which supports Moms, Dads and children during the early years of parenthood, is helping folks survive and thrive in the economic downturn. I appreciate the story and its attempt to illustrate the changing financial times here and around Southeast Michigan. But it missed one thing: the feeling of love, camaraderie and genuine enjoyment we receive from one another. There is no better gaggle of guys and gals in my world, and I adore every one of them.

Yes, the Grosse Pointes are known among some people for their perceived bigotry (long ago, there was a “housing point system” that supposedly rated whether someone was good enough to move here), exclusiveness and snobbery. I have experienced some of that while living here the past six years – one woman asked me what street I lived on, and when she found out it was the “wrong” side of Mack Avenue, she turned away from me and ended the conversation. But, mostly, I have been embraced by the community here and never found anyone to treat me differently because I shop at Target and not Chanel.

I joined the Grosse Pointe Moms Club when my son was about five months old. I had been working full time and was losing some of myself as a stay-at-home parent. I was lonely and finding it hard to adjust to life with an infant (who hated to sleep – and he still does). The Club saved my life – literally and figuratively. I found friends, activities and acceptance. The Club has only 70 or so members – there aren't that many stay-at-home parents any more. (I clearly work part time, but they still allow us to be full-time members. I even serve on the board for the club.)

It costs $35 annually to join – and anyone who lives in the five Grosse Pointes or Harper Woods is eligible. We assign people to playgroups and the like to avoid cliques or favoritism. Everyone plays fair and friendships come fast and easy.

We give each other support. We provide kind but tough advice. We gossip, chit chat and kvetch over the fence. We have play dates and coffee klatches. We share babysitters and, when needed, we take care of each other's kids when there are emergency doctor's visits. Everyone cheers when a Mom announces her pregnancy. We cry when someone has a miscarriage, is unable to conceive or, even worse, loses an infant or toddler to illness. There is so much love among this club that I think sometimes we are more like sisters than friends.

Then there are the arguments. Moms “break up” when their kids fight. The male club members get accused of “undressing” moms with their eyes – HA! There are arguments over how much we should spend on parties, gifts and more. People grouse about the little stuff, but it usually smoothes over. It's like a family that way – you can't choose ‘em, so you better just like them.

I could go on and on. We may not be the most exciting organization in the world, but it is the most important part of my little life on this great green Earth.

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