Wednesday, May 29, 2019

This Community That Will Always Be A Part Of Who They Are

Every other year, we would be done with our school year by now, but Seattle, like much of the rest of the country experienced more snow than usual over the winter, so we tacked on three more class days. Many of our families had already made plans, however, so attendance was low yesterday, making it a quiet, lazy day, one that makes a nice transition into summer.

Our two-year-olds are mostly three-year-olds now, and as they tend to do, they have begun to turn increasingly toward one another, connecting over simple things like running from one place to another, digging the same hole, or tossing wood chips into the air. When I sang a familiar song yesterday, one with a by now well-known punch line, they waited together in complete silence, anticipating it together, agreeing without words passing between them to remain utterly silent during the extra long pause, then scream-laughing when I finally delivered the goods: laughing not at me, the performer, like audiences normally do, but into one another's faces, their ritualistic laugh bonding them, a celebration of this community that will always be a part of who they are no matter where in the world their lives take them.

Not so long ago, these "babies" did not know that they began and their mother ended. Some of them still don't know this for certain. It's the place we all begin and it's a place we spend much of our lives trying to recreate: not seeking a return to the womb exactly, although there may be a part of that as well, but rather expanding the womb, bringing what we are born knowing about the interconnectedness of humankind out there with us, learning that it's not just mommy, not just daddy, not just brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles, but all of these other people as well who make us whole. This is something the children teach one another. Or maybe it's more like they remind or confirm for one another, just as they remind we adults who too often live as if we've forgotten, even if we still find in reflective moments that this wisdom is still a piece of who we are.

Away we'll go now, off on our own, never to reconvene in exactly this way again, taking the us we've created along however, where it will re-kindle wherever we find people of goodwill playing together, singings songs, and telling stories.

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