Our babysitting co-op met again today for a playdate. This time, it seemed that conversations started at the last one continued on and the kids were completely comfortable with each other. Also, this time, it was not at our house, so it was a little less stress for us, though our house is not clean because of company. It is really great to be connecting to families that live so close and who are a nice fit in terms of values and parenting styles. We are all a bit different, but there is enough common ground to build community and respect.
Category Archives: Community
Tonight we had dinner with some new friends. We met them at a block party on the next block over and found that they have children about the same ages as ours. They even went to my college. It is great to be able to walk over to friends, share dinner, have the kids play, and then be home in the blink of an eye for bedtime. This is a very good thing.
Today we had a get together for our babysitting co-op. It was a small but nice gathering. We even pulled a new family in. I started chatting with a guy there with his daughters thinking he was already part of the group. He wasn’t but seemed really nice and had kids about the same ages as ours. This is community.
This community, for the time being, is totally self serving. I just joined a meet up board game design group and went to my first session on Thursday night. I had so much fun sharing my game and playing another game, and watching others being played. The game I played was Legend of the Cipher, a card-based game similar to Dominion in game play but about hip-hop.
The immediate benefit to my family is an upswing in my mood. I am buzzed and happy. As my kids get older, they may enjoy playing games, too, and this network can bring in games they couldn’t find in the stores.
Ether way, it makes me a happier person and thus a happier dad.
At my 20 year college reunion, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with dear friends. These are people who I bonded deeply with for a few years and then drifted from. And yet our connections are still strong. Part of my soul resides in them.
As intense as college was, my daily connection with my kids is a soul sharing of a deeper level. I wonder how I will see my kids when I have the chance to be separated for some time.
It is fascinating to see these parts of my soul and how the have changed over time.
There are places I know I have community. St. Louis and the greater Midwest, my birthplace and home for much of my life, are peppered with people who are near to my heart. They will go out of their way to do things for me as I will for them, and now that I no longer live there, the times we are together are so sweet. Facebook, email, and in one case letters from them are means to keep those connections warm until we are in the same space. Recently a Boston based friend told me she was moving to Urbana, and I tapped my friends there who unsurprisingly and magnificently welcomed my friend to their circle.
I worried for a long time about raising a family in a place that did not feel like that. Over the last year or so, I have begun to feel that such a community exists here as well. I run into former students and their parents, I have fairly regular get togethers with friends, and there is a growing groups of parents who are really fun to be with. Quietly, my roots have dug deeper than I knew. The marathon tragedies revealed that in clear light when two of my school communities were caught in the action.
It is lovely when the roots are also revealed through love, kindness, and celebration. Thursday evening, I was walking by the school across the street. The parents of a former student were enjoying a cookout as the eighth graders prepared for graduation. We chatted for a short while and then went on our ways. This is what neighborhood feels like.
Friday evening, our neighbors arrived with pizza and their three girls. We share dinners together now and then, and the kids hang out even more often. My daughter and their eldest are in the same class, and we can see their house from ours. Packing five kids and four adults around our dinner table is quite a squeeze, and the kids are quite boisterous together. It is a great break from the normal routine, and it is community.