We all ran around on the lawn, babies crawling everywhere, kids racing like maniacs, and parents hanging out together in a multitude of ethicities, ages, and beauty. I had the good fortune of seeing old friends and children who've grown. I had brought M with me so she could hang out and at one point while sitting on the lawn surrounded by children and parents a volunteer came up and offered M a gift intended for our kids. I gently told M that those were for the others and I sat back and smiled because being mistaken for a homeless family means we must be doing something right - that our kids are well and happy and fed and alive and indistinguishable from everyone else which is exactly what they deserve after suffering through so much hardship.
And mostly I was filled with love. Love for the kids and for the normalcy of it all. I watched the parents smiling and chasing their kids around, the kids devouring pizza, people moving in rhythm to the music. And the joy on their faces when they saw their new stuff - stuff that will help make starting a new school feel a bit more normal and a bit more like everyone else.
At one point my singer friend was really jamming and everyone was dancing and getting into the groove and it was glorious. A bunch of us formed a conga line, staff, clients and kids and we sang and danced our way around the lawn together and in that moment, with hands full of M and others I looked at the sky and soaked in a perfect moment when poverty wasn't an issue and appreciating great music didn't require any money at all.