Growing up on the east side of Madison, we had an amazing circle of extended friends and family. Lots of kids, lots of fun. Every weekend, depending on the season, was filled with swimming, grilling out, sledding, ice skating and lots of laughs ... ALWAYS lots of laughs. I can't say enough how blessed I feel for such an amazing childhood. With the bar being set so high I've often wondered if I could ever provide those kind of memories for Everett ... but now I know I can. This weekend we grilled out. An official headcount came to 27 adults, 19 kids and a partridge in a pear tree. Kids in the hot tub, the play structure, the trampoline, the swings, the basement full of toys ... Parents pushing random kids on the swings and keeping an eye on all of the champers splashing in the hot tub. Each kid having fun and feeling safe. Each parent catching up with friends and hoping their kids crash hard after a jam-packed day. It was a great example of the way kids used to be raised ... by a village. Now a days we seem to keep to ourselves a little more and put more pressure on ourselves to be everything and everyone to our kids. But not Sunday ... Sunday was old friends and new friends eating some good food, drinking some Wisconsin beverages and letting kids be kids. When the brats, burgers and hotdogs were put away, the Capri Suns were all gone and the last S'more had been perfectly roasted and enjoyed, I put Everett to bed, gave him a huge kiss and whispered in his ear ... 'You were amazing today, baby boy.' Every time I found him he was grinning from ear to ear, but most importantly laughing ... he was ALWAYS laughing. Mission accomplished. Village begun.