islandparent Parenting Lifestyle Community & Connection

Community & Connection

It’s almost closing time at a seaside coffee shop and most of the tables are empty. One, though, is crowded with extra chairs, a stroller, a couple booster seats and 10 people: three of them are moms; seven are kids ranging in age from newborn to five or six. The moms are leaning in to hear each other, the kids are either climbing on their chairs or their moms. Each of them looks content and happy, despite the chaos and chatter—or perhaps because of it.

Connection and community. At no point are they more important than when we are raising our children. Not only do we need each other’s encouragement and support, but we also benefit from sharing our experiences—our ups, downs and inbetweens.

Twyla Tharp in her book, Keep It Moving, writes about the importance of sharing—more specifically, about sharing our pleasures. Time with our children, our families, our friends, each other.

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“We have two choices when we discover something elegant,” she writes. “We can put it in our pocket and keep it to ourselves, or we can share it and gain a higher order of appreciation.”

Climbing on their mothers like goats at goat yoga, the kids at that cafe might not be what most would consider elegant, but seeing what they shared that day—their stories, laughs, time, and even their spills—was as elegant as watching a ballet.

In this month’s issue, you’ll find articles on the importance of friendship…for parents, the benefits of forest and nature schools, and our guide on schools and educational services.

Check out our special section, Tweens & Teens, starting on page 23. In this 12-page pull-out, you’ll find articles ranging from how to help your tweens and teens develop a positive body image, and what to do to resolve conflict, to what happens when ageism is directed at youth, and a Q&A on sexual health.

Whether you find community and connection at the side of a soccer field during your kid’s practice, over coffee in a seaside cafe, or even in a grocery store line-up, may you have time this month for connection—not only for your kids, but for you, too.

Sue Fast

Sue Fast
Sue Fast
Sue Fast is the editor of Island Parent, Grand and ’Tweens & Teens magazines. Her writing has also appeared in Canadian Living and Vancouver magazines, the Georgia Straight and Monday Magazine.