Community and Children
It's the last week of school here, and summer looms on the horizon. The eternal whinging cry of, "I'm bored!" is likely to fill the air soon. The early weeks of summer don't have many programs or activities planned, are spendy, or involve that weird 2-3 hour segment of time that gives the parents exactly enough time to drive kid, drop off kid, and have no useful space to do anything before heading back to pick up the kiddo again. Whatever is a parent to do?
Well, it turns out that we aren't the only parents in the local poly community! In fact, when one parent posted for help with this on FB, several of us banded together to get some activities and social time on the calendar, sharing the joy of planning! We have several girls within a couple year age range that get along well, so that's helpful. One occasion will even involve social time for the kids while the adults are enjoying a poly discussion group! Another will free up S and I to have dinner with his parents prior to our wedding. A third will involve me taking a day off to enjoy my child and her friends socially.
The really wonderful part of this strategy is that it helps to diffuse the "My family is so weird, and no one else understands what it's like." idea by demonstrating that, not only are there other kids in other poly families, but that the concept of extended family and community isn't just something we talk about, but is actually happening. That, in absence of local family, programs etc, we are choosing to step up for each other, for them, to create a (hopefully!) fun and supportive environment.
I'd encourage each of you to plug in where you're at, with or without kids, to find some way, however small, to support others in your community in a practical way, socially or otherwise. Having gone from feeling daunted by the vast swathe of unplanned summer break stretching before me, to knowing that there are resources that I can both contribute to, and benefit from, has put me in a very optimistic frame of mind. Thank you to my co-conspirators in poly parenting!