Finding Community

Since the moment that Jason and I started living together, we’ve been in constant go-mode, moving around the county, the country, and even a short stint for me living abroad. The boys have experienced their own upheavels, moving no less than 7 times before the age of 8. By the time that they had made friends in their current neighborhood or school, they’d be packed off to moved to another one.

So, when we settled into our current house 3 years ago, both of the boys proclaimed adamantly that we were NEVER MOVING! At first, the thought of not moving was difficult for me. Wanderlust strikes Jason and I frequently. When I changed jobs or the thought of living in Europe starts to entice us, we stop and remember the promise we made the boys. They need stability. No moving.

It took my recent work out craze to get me to finally appreciate what not moving would mean for us. As I ran into the gym for a new zumba class at the gym, I looked around at all the women getting their kicks and wiggles down. Some of them were moms I knew from the boys’ baseball team. Some were women closer to my age, trying to also work off their baby weight. I’d be seeing them at kindergarten as I walked Keira into her first day of school.

As we danced around the gym, I heard the women motivating each other, praising and laughing, smiling at me when we both knew the work out was insane. It was a community of people who were all supporting each other.

As I drove home from the gym, with a smile on my face, I began to realize the community I had been missing from all my years of moving about. I finally felt somethingI haven’t felt since I left for college at the age of 17:

Home.

Finally I appreciated the feeling of belonging. At last, we had stayed in one place long enough to create stability. I knew other moms and dads at school by their first name. We have formed friendships close enough that the kids call our friends “aunts” and “uncles”. I have walked through trying to conceive, pregnancy, infancy and now into toddlerhood with friends who have a daughter the same age as Keira. And when going for a walk, neighbors now come out to remark how big the boys are getting and how great they play with Keira.

I never had a chance to even stop and see what I was missing. In the throes of wanderlust, I’ve had amazing experiences. But it was the boys who gave me the present of slowing down and staying still long enough to realize what amazing experiences were awaiting me in my own backyard.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brenda Boitson
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 10:25:55

    I have moved many times as well and didn’t understand community until this past move. I do love it. The comfort of community is wonderful, and I love being an “auntie” 🙂

    Reply

  2. Shawn Smucker
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 12:52:56

    Great post, Kirsten. You guys remind me of Maile and I: we’re always feeling the itch to check out that next place. But having a place that feels like home takes time, and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

    Reply

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