It’s often this time of year when families and friends gather together to celebrate and connect – from the oldest to the very youngest of us, including even some of our beloved 4-legged friends.
I remember the heady feeling of freedom and importance I felt as a child at these events – the independence yet also the sense of security and belonging to be able to freely roam, run around, eat what I wanted, stay up late, play games, chase each other, giggle, catch fireflies – just be.
We were free – yet you felt held – a significant part of the circle. No one was following you instructing you to slow down, say this or that. Everyone was just having fun.
You never wanted it to end.
But of course it did – exhausted but happy, with the memory, I believe, forever stitched into the fabric of your being.
I witnessed children recently at a friend’s beautiful outdoor wedding. Every age was represented – even the couple’s special lab was there to graciously accept the children’s affectionate attention. Watching the freedom and spirit of the children as they roamed around, away from their parents, dancing, giggling, playing, choosing what they wanted to eat, – it warmed my heart with the joy that these special types of gatherings bring.
It is a gift for children to know that they are part of this larger circle of family and friends – and though it may not happen often, the strength and supportive resilience and confidence it brings is a definite protective factor in all of our lives.
May you appreciate and enjoy these special times together.