We envision a community where children and adults play together, learn from each other and nurture one another.
Photos of Nevada City Cohousing and Vancouver Cohousing.
Our dreams of cohousing very much include children: watching them through our windows, inviting them into our homes, learning from them and sharing what we know.
"My vision of community"
Perspective from Skagit Cohousing members
I dream of living in a neighborhood where all ages care for one another. When I was young, Elizabeth taught me the value of an elder friend to a young family.
Long ago, newly single, I moved to Skagit Valley with two small children and no extended family nearby. I had accepted a new job as a nurse-midwife at a birth center in Mount Vernon. I loved the work and needed the income to support us, but the on-call, uncertain hours were a child care nightmare. I loved being a mom, but sometimes wondered if I could ever be wise enough and strong enough to give my children the guidance and care they needed.
Soon after we arrived, Elizabeth connected with us. I had met her only once or twice in the past, but she quickly became a good friend to our family. She was very clear that she would not provide regular child care, but would be emergency backup. It was rarely needed, but the load of worry that was lifted was huge. She never tried to tell me what to do, but was willing to give advice when asked. Elizabeth owned a commercial greenhouse. Sometimes, when I just wanted some time to settle and breathe, I sat in her greenhouse, watching her transplant the tiny starts. As we visited, surrounded by healthy soil and growing things, I would feel that all was right in my world. Elizabeth helped me sort out what was important in this new life, and what to let go. I never think of her without a smile.
As I look to another life change in moving into Cohousing, I would like to pass on Elizabeth’s legacy to other young moms. I can’t be all things to anyone, but I surely can be emergency backup and a haven when needed. My children are grown now. I hope that the children in our new community will share some of their curiosity and joy with me as I share some of my wisdom and laughter with them.
In the cohousing community where I currently live, I love looking out my kitchen window and watching children play. I love knowing their names and personalities and watching their skills and friendships grow.
Recently I was outside chatting with a neighbor when an energetic five-year-old cruised by on his bike. A bit down the path, he crashed. By the time I reached him another neighbor, who had been near her window, had rushed out of her house. Together we untangled the legs from the bike, brushed off the dirt, reassured the child and delivered him back to his parent. For that short moment, I mattered in the life of this child who I had been watching grow for years. This is community.