Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Love Fest 2007: G(comm Unity)nting

BabyG's 1st year bash was, if I haven't mentioned, a six hour long open house. Long enough that I wanted to provide sustenence for my guests in the form of not only delicious Harvest Pumpkin Apple Cake, but Dilled Egg Salad Sandwiches, two kinds of cookies, and homemade Limeade. It was on a Saturday, and the following Wednesday, I cooked three lasagna's for GreenDaddy's surprise birthday (in which my surprise was upstaged by the mean intestinal bacteria some piece of food delivered GreenDaddy two days before...)

These party preparations and caring for the poor, sickened GreenDaddy arrived, as the best kind of stress and sickness does, at the height of the holiday season. Right when normal people are busy getting their winter plans, purchases, and/or trips in gear. For us, that meant preparing for a two week long sojourn to Utah and then to California, to see all our respective parents.

All this plus doting mightily on BabyG was enough to frazzle icecubes. But everything came off okay.

"But how!" I hear one of you dear readers gasping. "Good Golly," another is muttering, "Your family surely is a veritable mountain of unyielding force!"

Yes, we are. Thanks phantasmic reader, for noticing.

But how DID we survive? And why didn't the eldest heroine of this blog expire in a pile of lasagna noodles, pumkin puree, and happy birthday ribbons?

[MaGreen], my friend and loved one,

we'll be over tomorrow at the beginning of the party, and you should think of hank and i as people who you can call in the morning or before the party begins to get last minute whatever (including, "please bring a can of coke with you to the party").

we can also run errands, take out garbage, put out chairs, provide nonviolent conflict resolution, mop up pee puddles, open windows, change lightbulbs, turn compost, take things out of ovens, entertain children, and oil squeaky door hinges.


It's that simple. I always want to write about how at least 50% of our ability to keep working at being green parents is a direct result of the incredible community that surrounds us. Our nurturing, loving community is the "reen Pare" in Green Parenting.

For those of you who want a way to help out new moms, or sick friends, or just friends who need a lift: copy above note, change the names, and send it off. (Well, better change some details in it, too, because otherwise it could have effects opposite of your good intentions. Chuck's note immediately lowered my blood pressure, and even now, weeks later, reading it makes me incredibly happy. Makes me feel inordinately lucky.

It wasn't only Chuck who saved my ass. Our friend Nicole did all sorts of decorating, last minute shopping, and lasagna baking. Janira helped me get the house ready. Heather came over and made cakes. Kayte brought her camera and took pictures of the 1st birthday(since our camera was missing that day). Keith and Theresa lugged over half a dozen or so extra chairs. And for the surprise party, all GreenDaddy's friends brought little and big somethings to augment the lasagna. And even the people who didn't "do" something, "did" something by celebrating the births of my two favorite people, and have "done" countless other life saving and wondrous things for us these past many years. Thank you.

The ever expanding sum of my friends' kindnesses reminds me that being green isn't just about using glass storage containters instead of plastic, or growing your own food, or creating less waste, or riding your bike to work. It's about nurturing the people around you so they can make their own green choices, or maybe choices more inline with their belief systems, but that you support because they're your people.

This is important for me to remember. My community enables me to work for what I believe without becoming pissy, angry, or poison because I'm greener, or peacier, or a better earth-lover than whoever. It keeps me going when I'm pooped, and it makes me want to be as fabulous to other people as my community is to me. Which is Good for Green.


Sending this in to the scribbit Write Away Contest!


fiddler said...

These principles are a lot of what R and I are working toward here in our corner of the world, through music and dance. Building community by attending sessions, inviting others to our home to play music, taking part in potlucks at the dances, anything that brings music and people together and promotes community, and also encourages thoughtful use of, and conservation of, resources of all kinds...

cake said...

this is such a beautiful post, and i know exactly how you feel.

i also really like the photo collages...makes me want to ask "how'd you do that?" but i won't be so tacky...heheh.

chuck said...

this is the best thing about living in a big city that acts like a small town (although i worry we will eventually be gentrified out of this neighborhood). i am so happy that the green parents and green baby live just a few blocks away.

MaGreen said...

cake, picassa made these photos like this. it's cool, but not as cool as it could be as i can't choose which photos to foreground and you can't move photos around.

picassa is google's free program.

not that you asked:)

Jessi Louise said...

This was a great post. It made me happy. I actually got teary eyed at the last sentence of the second-to-the-last paragraph.
It reminded me of how much I could have used support like that when I was in Colorado working full-time with the boys and hubby was deployed. I was completely secluded from friends and family and I would have given anything for a letter like that!

Robin said...

You are an infinitely lovable family, that's why!

By the way, how did you make those cool photo collages? xo

Robin said...

Oh, commenting too quickly for my own good -- just read answer above -- picassa. I think I've got that one!

scribbit said...

This is wonderful and I feel terrible having to say this but the submissions were already sent to the judge early this morning (they were due before the 12th) and I would feel awkward about sending more over to her as she's already doing me a huge favor by judging so many posts.

However, if you'd like I could mention your post with a link to it as one that hadn't made the deadline (and you're not the only one I have three others that came in at the same time).

Would this be acceptable?

I'll be hosting another contest in March and would love to have you submit something then. If you do though, it's much easier for me if you submit it to my email address rather than in the comments section--though it's fine to leave a link there too if you want some extra publicity.