birthday party, community, parent groups

Today was full! Ted took Hazel and the twins off to Hazel’s soccer class while I got a Car2Go and went shopping for our family group 5th birthday party. One of the families in our group has recently moved to a new house, and they hosted. Their house is all the things ours is not – new, pretty, finished, open, easy to use. Ted and I both felt a bit wistful looking at all the un-cracked walls and un-peeling paint. (It did, however, give me new motivation to start cleaning our house after the upheaval of the past several weeks.)

We met when our kids were tiny – Hazel was three weeks old, and we were totally shell-shocked at our first gathering. I am so glad we’ve stayed together, to celebrate and offer each other support, to watch our kids grow and learn, and to talk about everything that’s going on in our lives. Now they’re turning five, and kindergarten is around the corner. It seems like so long ago that they were newborn babies. And now there are more kids, all the siblings that have arrived in the past few years. We make a big group these days.

There were costumes for dress-up, and games (Pin The Tail On The Donkey, and Duck Duck Goose). We traditionally have a book exchange, and our hosts had also so generously bought books for the little ones. We got a couple of wonderful books for Emily and Joanna. Hazel got a sticker book and was thrilled. There were cupcakes to decorate and consume, and a cake. (The kids were wired and zapping with energy today, and then exquisitely whiney later on.) There was a lot of generalized running around. And through it all the twins toddled around watching and listening, playing with toys, going up and down the very short flight of stairs from the kitchen to the living room, eating, being read to, and having a grand time. It was great to see all our friends, to relax knowing that there was always a pair of eyes looking out for the kids. I love that bunch of people. Such a collection of warm hearts all in one place.

Ultimately, it was time to come home and get the kids down for nap, which, miraculously, we were able to do. That might have been by virtue of the fact that the twins fell asleep in the car on the way home, and we were able to transfer them to bed.

Then, while our nanny was here, Ted and I made progress on filling out our tax forms, and restored some order to the overwhelming chaos.

And then, I had a dinner out with some of the members of the Moms’ group I joined when Hazel was a year old. I hadn’t seen a couple of them in years. By now there are more siblings and other major life changes. Our conversation was personal, wide-ranging, and mutually supportive. It’s so easy to get isolated when you have very young children. Reconnection and community are life-savers. I’m glad we got together again, and I hope we can keep it up. We can all use it.

I made it home for bedtime and a supremely whiney Hazel. We really have to watch her sugar intake. There was too much today, and she was pretty unsettled tonight. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful day.

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