20 September 2010

The kids and I spent today at a friend's home with a handful of other families. The premise was to do some planning work for our Attachment Parenting group but, as always, the "working" portion of the day was only a small part of our time. We chatted about the kids, we ate, we stopped to take care of our kids, and we discussed the things on our minds and hearts.

I've been reflecting on how meaningful and powerful these moments with friends are. There is something so fundamentally important about spending time with people who get me and see the world through similar eyes. Our family has made various parenting, schooling, and lifestyle choices that aren't typical and having a community of people who are operating under the same general principles is something I truly treasure.

On the kid side of things, too, there are some beautiful moments. There are all the bellies of the last couple of years which have now like magic turned into toddlers and small babies in our midst. The older kids seem to randomly make huge developmental leaps and the child who a few months ago may have sat holding Mom's leg is now off adventuring in the trees with friends.

Watching the children is inspiring, the way their imaginations come together to sweep them up in a day of play. They play together as a large group, in smaller groups, or alone in an ever-changing dynamic that is mostly smooth. Sometimes there are hurt feelings, scraped knees, or coveted toys and a parent helps them to work things out and then the fun resumes.

This, I believe, is at the center of what it is to be a person. We're social creatures meant to share moments big and small with the people we hold dear. Sometimes it feels as if our society is so isolated, so cut off one family from another. Coming away from a day like today leaves me with a sense of contentment and comfort, and helps me to remember to appreciate the deep value of friendship.

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