A rare morning alone chasing the sunrise out on the prairie.
This morning was no different from most Sunday mornings. Alder and I woke up late, Kevin had left for work hours before and we played for a while in bed. We talked through our day (not that we did much on our list in the end) and then slowly got dressed and packed our bag for a walk down the street to the local coffee shop. The food is not spectacular, the coffee is okay but what is special is the three or four hours we spend there talking with friends, making new ones, and being part of a community. This is why I wanted to return to this neighborhood, to bring up my son in a place where everyone talks to each other. We know a lot of the people in the neighborhood. It isn’t a fancy one, though there are some beautiful old houses mixed in, it’s mainly apartment buildings and multi-family homes. He certainly isn’t growing up in some homogeneous suburb around here.
But that’s just the outline, the facts that I might recite to someone asking me about Denver. What I want to talk about is the joy I feel when I watch my son joining in with adult friends in conversations. How casual they are with him talking to him like an adult. We were there for three hours but I didn’t see him for most of the time because he was making the rounds talking to friends or “making new friends”. On friend and his boyfriend joke that he is the ultimate boyfriend meter. If a guy stops and talks with him or helps him (in the winter he begs to shovel the patio) the measure is how long he stays.
This morning I overheard my neighbor explaining to Alder something, about numbers and logic. All the while I’m sitting and knitting and talking with friends about the perfect pen and plans for a new knitting circle.
Tuesdays are Co-op days where he learns and plays for hours with other kids, a little gang with kids from 2 to 6. There are three other Mamas negotiating life and learning and we treasure these days together as well. More community created intentionally, true full of loving people disparate in backgrounds but all with similar passions for freedom in our children’s learning and being our own sort of weird. While we are set in our Tuesday routine we are constantly meeting up on other days for hikes, science experiments and the like.
Still the part of this life we are creating I love the most are the ones that are just Alder and I being us, hiking up on a pass or visiting a library. The points in time when everything slows down and we talk and explore ideas and see our world in stillness. It isn’t something I see too much in other educational settings. But it’s where the learning happens, the calm after the active, in the listening and watching and the gestating afterwords. This is also part of the world he lives in.
All of this, the adults, the co-op the time for exploration is the life I am curating for him (thanks to Lori for that idea). I keep on coming back to the words freedom, authentic and time when I think of learning. This is the world I want to show him.