Think back to your childhood. Where were your friends from? Were they from across the street? Across the fence? I would venture to say that they were. Now think about your kids? Where are their friends from? Across the street? Across the fence? If your family is anything like mine I imagine your answer would be no.
It seems these days that kid’s friends (and the parent’s acquaintances) are always “from somewhere...” from dance, from soccer, from gymnastics, from tennis... you name it. But is this a bad thing? Meeting people from various locations, backgrounds, and status can broaden not only your children’s view of people, but your own.
However, it seems that many people in my generation are longing to have the community of old. The type of community where people know you as more than the guy who checks the mail in nothing but his robe, and can help spy on your kids when you’re away.
I realize that culture and relationships have changed and evolved over time. Neighborhoods and families look different now than in the past. Dinners are eaten in front of the TV, life is nothing bug go go go, and kids hate their parents. I blame the drugs.
Despite my incoherent ramblings above, I do have a point to make. Find your community. Maybe your community isn’t the people in your neighborhood, but rather a close group of friends from the surrounding area. Life is too short to silo your kids (and yourself) by keeping them in their appropriate boxes (school, then dance, then playtime, rinse, repeat). Families need each other, if for nothing else than the sanity of the parents.
Lastly, I know I see things from a limited view, so I’m curious... do you feel that you have a strong community? People you live life with?