Every so often, at a school or sports event, I will look out at the sea of kids and realize the rare privilege we have. We are connected because we occupy one speck of a dot on a map and we are raising our kids in this speck, at this time. We’ve watched this batch of kids during Kindergarten Harvest days, tee ball, and story-times. We cheered when we saw these kids get their first hit, or basket, dance solo, or line in a play. We see these same kids grow and struggle as they become young men and young women, and we are beginning to see their adult selves. Their bodies are changing, sometimes in rapid and scary ways. They’re relating to each other in different ways, too, and it’s comforting and wonderful to see the effect of good friends on them. We catch them laughing or being silly without regard for how they look in that moment and at those times, we see their six-year old selves. We remember, we look back, and we look ahead. We worry together, vote together, run scenarios by each other. We are relieved when we find out that our kids are, in fact, ‘normal’. We are connected by email, practice schedules, and carpools, but we seldom grasp how extraordinary our ordinary lives really are. There is something sacred in the way we are raising our children together in this speck of a dot on a map. We see one child struggle out of shyness and one whose hair hides his face… one uneasy in her own skin, one who strives and one who slacks, one who makes everyone smile. We see their new glasses, hear them try on profanity, see how hard they try. We marvel at how very quickly they are growing up because weren’t they babies just last week?
We think: These Are Our Kids. All of them.
One day, God willing, we will sit in a chair at a high school graduation and marvel and remember…because we are a handful of people that will remember each others’ children when they were small. And because we have been rooting for them all along.
Until then, we’re here…on the sidelines, in the audience, in our vans driving them where they need to be. We’re talking and listening, processing, agonizing, worrying, and laughing. We’re in it together, and I couldn’t be happier about that. In this town that presents us with so many challenges, we are so gifted with each other. Thanks for all you are.