We’re blessed to have a terrific core of local parent friends, and we often daydream about pooling resources to buy a commune so we can hang with our friends while enjoying village-style parenting “economies of scale.”
While our dream village won’t materialize unless the real estate market tanks (and we can get our friends to agree on a central location), we’ve recently come pretty close to this scenario via some lovely afternoons with our neighbors and their two granddaughters.
Last week, the adults enjoyed the unveiling of summer lawn furniture with snacks and drinks while the girls rode tricycles on the grass and walkways. And yesterday there weren’t even any toys involved as the girls alternately romped on the lawn (the 7 year old tried to teach the preschoolers to do cartwheels) and helped with gardening projects.
Yesterday in particular, there was something so touching and simple and reminiscent about seeing these three balls of energy roll around on the grass, laughing hysterically. As a parent accustomed to urban dwellings where the “backyard” is a sidewalk periodically littered with broken glass, bottle caps, and dog poop, seeing the expression of joy and discovery when Laurel asked if she, too, could play barefoot on the grass like her friends was priceless. And I was amazed to see the extent to which the girls could entertain one another purely through movement (Laurel's cartwheels involved lying prone on the ground, then flipping her legs from side to side), and on a very modest piece of grass at that, as evidenced by several crashes and near misses. Less clearly was more.
We’re grateful for our immediate little village, and I’ll continue to daydream about expanding it so our other friends can come play.