I feel like I’m in an old movie when I answer the door to see a gang of all aged kids asking if Lily can come out to play. Ditto when I’m baking or making a meal and see, from the kitchen window, Lily amongst the neighbourhood gang playing on someone’s lawn across the way.
I didn’t grow up in a neighbourhood where I was included into the play of whatever kids lived there. I went to private school away from my neighbourhood and my parents didn’t take us outside often at all, so I never really got the chance to even meet any kids there.
In all our moves over the years, Cam and I have never lived in a neighbourhood that kids were free and outside as much as possible. Perhaps it has to do with the weather here. When it’s good, you go out because when it’s really dark and rainy, it’s not so much fun.
Lily is ravenous to go out and “play with my friends”. It’s what she always wants to do, before anything else. I love this and yet I end up spending a lot of time collecting her when she comes back for meals and at the end of the day. I make an effort to have eye contact, really hear what she’s thinking about…. all these little things we do to re establish our connection or relationship.
Already I see she’s picking up small things here and there that aren’t inline with our values. I don’t worry though, as long as our relationship is intact and strong all the things other people say or do won’t take hold. She tells me these things too and I’ll try and explain why someone would call her a “good girl” as if she were a dog or that the mother really wouldn’t lock her child out of the house if he didn’t get there immediately.
I was just telling a friend about how I’ve met some really great people here, but none with very similar values and interests. That’s totally okay. We take what’s good, leave the rest and create our own peace to fill in the gaps.
We create our own peace by being together and doing things that help reconnect us as a family. Yesterday we went to the park up the street via the forest behind our house. There wasn’t as much of a trail as I thought there would be but we took the time to bush whack and help each other through. It was a fun time exploring, pointing out all that we saw and it was a perfect time to make plans for what we want to get out of the forest in the future. I can’t wait to share all that we accomplish…
(You can now click on the photos to see them bigger and to see the ones I didn’t add here on my Flickr page! Thanks Krista!)