Last night was baseball night, as is tonight. Of course, tonight is also soccer, as was Monday. Yesterday, as we arrived at the fields, we waved and said hello to several other parents. My son's coach is my son's friend's mom and a friend of mine. They were in kindergarten together. His sister is in tae kwon do with my son. Several of his teammates were on his t-ball team and go to school with him.
Once the game started, I sat talking to a friend. Her son and my son are on the same team; they were in kindergarten together and have been friends since then; last year she had an in-home daycare and took care of my sons several days a week. Our younger sons, friends since their older brothers became friends, played on the playground together and our husbands stood past outfield and near the playground chatting.
When the game was over and the next game was starting, one of my younger son's friends showed up for his brother's game and asked where he could find my son. Once we got over to the playground, I saw several more of my kids' friends there, including some neighbor kids.
At the concession stand, I ran into another friend and several more of my boys' classmates. Then, I couldn't find Will; turns out he had been talking to our neighbor whose son's game had just started.
Before leaving we made arrangements for our friend to drop off his son at our house so that I can take both boys to their game since their other son has a game at the same time and only one parent is available tomorrow evening.
Several of the moms and I touched base about a Mom's Night Out planned for Friday evening.
This is community.
I have not always had this or known what it feels like.
I moved around a lot as a kid and even as a young adult. Until now, the longest I had ever lived anywhere was 7 years.
We have now lived at the same address for 10.5 years. That's a huge record for me.
We live in a small city in a big metropolis. Our community touches Minneapolis; our house is about 8 blocks from where Minneapolis begins.
Lately, I have begun to feel a sense of community around us. It started very slowly. Over the years, the feeling of being a part of a community increased. Then, our children began school and sports within our city and we found that we truly are part of this community.
We finally have begun to really get to know parents and kids from school, become friends with them. We know people at Target and Trader Joe's and on field trips and at parent pick-up and at soccer games and baseball games and at the hockey arena and at the nature center and at the parks. We live on a corner connecting two blocks full of kids from ages 1 to 16 and most of them in the 5 to 10 range. We know our neighbors and we're even Facebook friends with some of them.
This is the only address my kids have ever had. We don't plan on leaving it. We have a sense of community. We belong.
It's important to feel that sense of belonging; a cohesiveness among neighbors and classmates and friends. It gathers us in and supports us when we need it most.
This weekend the local Farmers Market opens. I'm sure we'll run into many friends, acquaintances and people who look awfully familiar. I'm looking forward to it. I like being a part of a community. Over and out….