I was so glad for that. The kids were mostly sweet and helpful and encouraging of one another. Only small disagreements bubbled up, and those were easily smoothed with cake and present time, with fresh kids joining in a group and changing the dynamic, with a parent nearby to offer short bits of wisdom or sympathy before watching the child skip happily away again to play.
It was terrific. The parents were all there, all checking in, paying attention. The kids looked out for each other, the older ones telling the younger ones what was unsafe or what wasn't allowed. Woody looked out for his little brother. He came to get me when another kid fell and was crying. He helped look for a littler boy who'd gotten carried up in the stream of running kids, but who couldn't find his way back. (He was found very shortly.)
Daddy Honey and I wanted to move to an intentional community when I was pregnant with Woody and for his first few years. We were on a waiting list for one in the town we lived, a long-standing one with a big community center and pool and playground and lots of community participation. But when our names came up, the houses were priced out of our reach by the boom, so we couldn't do it. I'm not sure, but I think it was or is a kind of generational trend. I seem to meet a lot of people who at least considered if, if not tried it or are actively living it. But then again, I may just gravitate toward community-minded people.
Today reminded me of that vision. I'm not sure if I still want to live in an intentional community (though I can imagine it being beautiful, challenging, and an incredibly fertile person-growing grounds under the right circumstances), but regardless I found myself wanting to create more occasions to get together and share food and happiness and well-loved kids running around free.