As a result of this belief, for our daughter's first birthday, we decided to have a party for all the people who supported us in our first year as parents. We asked people to bring gifts for Canadian Lutheran World Relief instead of gifts for our daughter. We had a house full of friends and family, a puppet show for the kids, a huge chunk of cheese for our baby (her favourite food), and a gigantic mess to clean up afterwards. It was lovely, and it was bigger than anything I hope to host for our daughter's birthday ever again.
The day was a reminder of the community that clothed our daughter in hand-me-downs and fed us in the months after her birth. The room was full of individuals who helped us get some sleep or just have an adult conversation while they held the baby. They made sure we had date nights, they shared their birth stories, and they encouraged us when the minutes of crying seemed like hours.
This community is predominantly made up of people of faith - many of them Lutheran and many of them just good people who hang around with Lutherans. I am intensely grateful to have grownup with people that get 'community.' I suppose I believe that if we can teach our children to value community we might actually be able to change the world.
So happy birthday little one - may your every sorrow and your every joy be in the arms of a loving community.