Sunday, July 10, 2016

Our dreams for our children are all the same

Against the backdrop of last week's horrific news, we kept doing our lives. We didn't take it for granted. On Friday night, some friends held a graduation party for their son, and most of the kids who went to school together till eighth grade were there, all of them having just graduated from college. They've made other close friends through the years, high school friends, college friends, camp friends, scholar program friends, summer job friends, neighborhood friends, friends of friends, but this group remains tight, and watching them together on Friday night, it was apparent why. They know themselves to their core with one another, and they know each other that way too. They are fully themselves when they are together. I never cease to marvel at how great a gift that is, to have friends who know you nearly as deeply as you know yourself. It's nice that their parents can enjoy each other's familiar company, too. We've been doing it now for going on twenty years, and choose it still.

There's something about the way these young people glow when they are around each other. The lack of artifice. The sense of comfort and shared history. The awareness of being fully seen and fully loved. It is too rare a thing in this world. Perhaps all that we ever need to combat hate and intolerance is to get to know each other, to spend time in each other's company, to learn each other's hearts, to discover that our dreams for our children are the same. There are too few places in our siloed world that facilitate that, which makes the bond these children forged at a school where differences were celebrated, not ignored, one to be cherished. It is not a fragile bond either. It has been tested through the years. And somehow, the tests have strengthened their friendships, individually and collectively, and shown them the depth of their connections.

Then, on Saturday, we met our son's girlfriend's parents for the first time. They took the train into the city from New Jersey, where they live, and we visited and chatted in our home for a while, and then all went out to dinner at our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant. It was a lovely evening in every regard. Such warm and openhearted people. We mothers laughed as we admitted we'd been nervous to meet each other, and how relieved we were at the immediate ease we felt. When you get to this stage of life, and your children begin getting serious with other people, you start evaluating what it will be like to share grandchildren with the families of their significant others. I have no idea what will unfold for my son and his girlfriend, or my daughter and her boyfriend, but if they should remain with these relationships, then my husband and I are in a very good place. Shhh, don't tell them I said that.


  1. Two of my daughters went to a high school like that. A school where each and every individual was cherished absolutely FOR their own gifts, talents, foibles, differences. And oh! How they loved and took care of each other. What a beautiful thing a place like that is. A gift for sure.
    We won't tell your children that you and your husband like their significant others' parents. It will be our secret.

  2. See! you are a shiny example of what I said in yesterdays comments.If you fancy some English sunshine to keep the mood going pop over XX

  3. It's good that you feel that way about your children's choices. We are lucky when we have that.

  4. Just a quick note while I'm actually ON my laptop and not on my phone, and thus can actually comment. I'm always reading, and I'm so glad to hear about your son's journey into the FDNY! Lots of love and thoughts to you as I follow along, though sometimes quietly.

    Also, your kiddos seem like the kind of people who attract good people to them which is the best quality to have. Their significant others will be well-loved, as they are well-loved children -- it shines through.

  5. For some reason, so many of us learn to be suspicious of other people, to be guarded and protective of ourselves. And while that makes sense in certain environments (reporting!) it can be a hard way to live life and relationships. I always wish I were more open and comfortable with other people. Your kids really seem to have that talent.