I didn’t grow up in one community. We moved, a lot. Northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, BC, Manitoba… Barbados…. we settled in Calgary in 1988 and even then we didn’t stop moving. With a “mom’s house” and a “dad’s house” and both of them renting and at the whim of landlords, we tended to bounce around. At one point I managed to count 20 houses I lived in over a 10 year period.
Settling in a community was important to me. Finding the place to finally stay, finally have as a home base was what I felt would finally define me as being an adult. As having a real HOME.
I’ve found so much more than a home, I’ve found a community.
In our community we hold midnight stakeouts in the community garden to ward off vandals.
In our community we know which tree all the dads go pee behind at soccer.
In our community we know whose house the moms can run to if they have to pee. (Because… really!? a tree?!)
In our community the police have nothing on the underground text messages of PTA moms when suspicious vehicles are seen.
In our community I can run out to my van in my pajamas because my neighbour does it too.
In our community we can tell each others’ kids that they are going to be grounded.
In our community we know more safe parents than Block Watch parents, and we need the safe parents more.
In our community we know which type of wine all the moms drink.
In our community we know exactly how to gang up on local politicians (we will not be ignored….)
In our community you don’t piss off the parentals.
In our community we could trust each other with our homes, our children… hell, even our husbands.
I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Even when I think about the work that my house needs…. the different type of home I’d like to live in, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Because when it comes down to it, I live in a house… in a community that’s a home.
Heather Cook is an Alberta author and a working mother of two. She's an active community and school volunteer and has published two books and over 300 articles. She blogs at www.RedWritingHood.ca and for various online publications.