Leo spent a very happy weekend at camp. Good for him, good for his parents: Seymour and I were able to rest and partially recuperate from epic, miserable colds (our delighted girls did not complain about bonus video time).
While Leelo was off winning a certificate for "best bounce house performance," Seymour and I went to church as a couple for the first time in several years. There we witnessed the 3rd and 4th grade Catechism (a intentionally reclaimed term) class's Right of Passage ceremony, which celebrated those children's journey from childhood to youth. The children read self-composed personal credos, lit candles, and were warmly embraced by the entire congregation.
As the children filed onto the sanctuary's dais, I realized that many of them were baby and toddler peers of Leelo's, from the church nursery. That was an unexpected blow. But I am getting used to these woulda-coulda-shoulda land mines -- I cannot be waylaid by them if I wish to be a functional person -- so I shook off the emotional shrapnel and let myself be happy for the catechumens.
It was especially good to see kids of that age thriving, good to see them making spiritual and developmental strides, because in my experience that's not the case for most of their peers. In my personal circle, children born in the year 2000 have more developmental and situational challenges than any other children I've met. It's eerie.
I'm not only writing about the families we've met through Leelo; many people to whom I allude have been in our lives since before we became parents. And of course it's not all of the 2000 babies; many of them are just fine and in fact exceptional -- in a good way. But even so, I often find myself thinking about these children, and why it is that they have it so hard. I know it's silly. I know there's no correlation, no causation. But I will always hold a special place in my heart for the babies of 2000, and their families.