Childhood Community: Why Your Kids Need It (For PDX Moms Blog)

“When I was a kid, I spent many Sundays at my uncle’s house listening to people yell excitedly at the television as football teams battled it out. I often sat there snacking with a book, and side-eyed them—like a pretentious little brat. I didn’t understand why these grown men, and my lovely gentle mom, were YELLING at the screen in front of them. The players couldn’t hear them, their enthusiasm was not changing the outcome; but it made no difference. Together they rallied, rooted, and debated about all things football. But it wasn’t just football. They also amused one-another with stories from comics, movies, and life. Super Bowl still ranks among the holidays to me because of this gathering, joy, and merriment. I may not have understood the rarity of it then, but these people mastered the art of adult friendships and are still doing it 25 years later. They remain one of my favorite communities of people.

Sadly, one of them died this year, and I mourned with them from across state lines. He died too young; he had a son he would have loved to see graduate high-school, but won’t — because cancer is a jerk. This was a man who years before threw water balloons with me, played some fierce ice hockey, and recommended killer comics. He was a vibrant part of my family’s community and is dearly missed.

 I realized in his passing: I want my kids to have this. I know it seems morbid, but I want them to know the treasure of feeling the loss years later when someone who took the time to bend down and talk to them is gone. It is truly a bittersweet gift only found in intergenerational friendships.

As my husband and I have tried to integrate our own children into our friendships, I have seen many blessings. Here are a handful of reasons society’s children need this.”…continue reading at Portland Moms Blog.

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