So what's the big deal, you say - you had another community gabfest, and people got a chance to talk about the kids and their life here. Why was that so special?
It was special because it was the first time the parents were able to tell the rest of us how much it meant to them to be living in cohousing - and we were able to tell them how much it meant to us to have the kids here.
We found out that there were some misunderstandings and miscommunications that had caused some concern. No - we definitely did not want to be a retirement community with only seniors living here!
And no, the parents did not mind if we approached their kids when misbehaving, as long as we talked to them with respect, just as we would to any adult.
And they were thrilled that their children were developing multi-generational relationships, interacting with adults from age 23 to 83 - an opportunity rarely found elsewhere in society.
They talked of their hopes and fears for their kids, and their worries that they weren't as good at parenting as they should be. Those of us who had been there assured them that perfection is not a job requirement for parents!
Most importantly, the adults without kids were able to tell them how much the children meant to us, how we treasured their presence, loved to hear their laughter, and learned from them.
It was moving, powerful, life-affirming, and authentic. Without the children Pacific Gardens wouldn't be as happy and connected.
Thank you, Mia!