Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gently Loved Gifts Are the Best Kind

I am just so overwhelmed with gratitude right now.  My neighbor and dear friend invited me over last night to hang out.  But, when I got there her house was covered in boxes.

Inside were all the gently loved clothing from her two little boys- for me!  We went through each item together- she was saying goodbye to stages past and I was looking ahead to our new little son on the way.  It was such a lovely evening.  And, beyond all the fun and joy it brought to us both- it will be such a huge savings to our family to have everything we could possibly need in boys' clothing from newborn to 2T!

I have noticed this is something that my friends here in Seattle do extremely well.  Living in community means sharing our resources!  I love that within my network of friends here, there is a lot of sharing: of time, of childcare, of that divided crate of blueberries that were on sale but one family couldn't possibly get through, and of all sorts of things. Sharing in raising one another's children in this way is really like nothing I've experienced before.

My mom often tells me the story of how the women in her neighborhood growing up would pass around big bags of clothing to one another- sharing the hand me downs with one another.  They did this, also, during holidays and went through one another's toys, books, and sports' gear.  My mom remembers fondly dreaming about a bike one of her neighborhood friends rode, and knowing that she was next in line to get it.

I recently read this article, and I think it's good food for thought.  I especially like this, "When we start treating everything around us as disposable, it’s hard to not think of money as disposable, too. And it’s this line of thinking that gets us into trouble."  Though I don't buy into the idea that spending more is always better or higher quality, I do believe we live in a time and culture where we save so little and see connections as increasingly fleeting and less meaningful.  Social capital has such a positive impact on our lives.  Not just for the monetary resources we can offer each other, but for the very real sense of community we can have.

I want to be a part of a community like that!  Will you join me in doing something today to connect with your neighbors, your neighborhood, your larger community.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, as always, in the comments below.  And, if you haven't done so already, please follow my blog!  You can also grab my button on the right by copying the text below it and copying onto your own blog page.  This will let others know you read it! 

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