Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Casual Community

I've been much better at writing in my journal this year. For accountability purposes (I do better when I report out what I've been doing!), this is the frequency with which I've been writing in my journal: 

  • 2/15
  • 2/3
  • 1/31
  • 1/26
The other day I was writing about how grateful I am for my family and the life we have in our house (lots of time connected to each other, proximate to trees, space for the children to roam). But I also started thinking about the one dream I left behind: my dream of building a pocket neighborhood and to live more in community. 

Part of me still dreams of building something like that, but it would be so incredibly expensive to recreate everything we have been able to build at our house (which we were able to do relatively inexpensively because of luck), and I don't want to cut into our travel budget, which is a huge way in which we are trying to savor our children's childhoods. 

So then my mind goes to: Well, what exactly am I trying to have that I don't feel like I have right now? 

And I think my answer is: Casual Community. I would love the option to opt into community when we are feeling social (that's the beauty of a pocket neighborhood; everyone has their own personal space, but there are also lots of common spaces). 

I'm wondering how I can create that feeling where I am instead of building something new. 

Right now, we have monthly Saturday Suppers, which I love. I think those are a start. But what else? 
  • I'm wondering if we should try to facilitate monthly potlucks (on a school night, so community doesn't just feel like a weekend thing) with the neighbors on our cul-de-sac. They are such a diverse group. We are very connected to each of them individually, but we never do anything collectively (I think in part because we are all so very different from each other). But I honestly think it could be a lot of fun. 
  • I'm wondering if I should sometimes try to invite friends to our house after school, especially when the weather is nice. I could throw a quick meal in the Instant Pot (this Mexican beans and rice meal comes to mind), have chips and salsa on hand, and they could bring something or not. 
  • What if I built a text list of neighbors with families and sent more casual texts like: "We are jumping into the pool until 6pm. Come through the back gate if you want to join us!" Or "We are heading down to the creek if anyone wants to come play around with us!" 
  • Hmm...I wonder if I should create some kind of online directory of families in my neighborhood whose children are born within a certain range. I wonder what the best way to do that would be? Our neighborhood is already on Nextdoor, and it looks like I could create a private sub-group within my neighborhood. That might be awesome! I could do a range like two years older than Henry to two years younger than Tate? 
This feels like a good starting place! 

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kzaback said...

We do weeknight dinners with friends all the time and its a great way to create informal connections and to ease our workload. We've found its just as easy to cook for 4 adults and 4 kids as it is to cook for 2 adults and 2 kids and since we take turns it means that we have one less dinner to cook a week. Our 3 year old regularly asks, which guests are we having over tonight (and acts like her threenager self when noone is coming).

Thais said...

we have a private Facebook group for our street :)

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