Living in a co-housing community has many benefits from shared resources ("hey, can I get a ride to the airport?") to connection with all 60 of your neighbors. One of my favorite parts about it, though, is co-parenting.
My friend, Rachel, and her family live two doors over from me and every week we swap childcare so that twice a month we get a date! While this in itself is not that unusual - lots of people do date night swaps - there is a way of relating to the kids in a co-housing community that is deeper and more meaningful than the way you relate with even your close friend's kids.
For example, tonight was Rachel and Jonathan's turn to have a date night so Adam and I took care of their children, Ethan and Eliana. We decided to go to a chorus concert and invited our other friends in the community, Mhari her husband Craig and their two children, to join us. So, between us there were four adults (Adam, myself, Mhari, and Craig) and five children (Ilya, Ethan, Ethan, Eliana, and Leila). While we watched the concert, Adam ended up holding Leila most of the time while Ethan and Eliana cuddled up next to me. Mhari and Craig took turns sitting next to the other Ethan and Ilya...but it was a very fluid thing. Kids moving from one parent to another as the four of us worked to keep them quiet and entertained. It was co-parenting at its best.
Here is the love of my life, looking a bit tired, but handsome as ever.
This is Rachel's son, Ethan.
This is Rachel's daughter, Eliana. She really is one of the cutest kids I've ever seen. Look at those curls!
Ilya and Ethan really love each other, and they play together so nicely.
Ilya: I'm a princess
Ethan: I want to be a princess
Ilya: You can't. Only girls can be princesses!
Ethan: But, I want to be a princess, too.
Ilya: OK, fine. You can be a boy princess. The green princess
I love the way preschoolers talk and work things out!