They say there's a time and a season for everything. I believe Anthony and I have moved into the next season within our ward. When we first moved into this ward, we were welcomed with more than a few open arms, everyone was excited to have us. The ward was chuck full of empty nesters and just a few people with younger kids. They were so excited to have little tiny kids again. K was only 4, A was 2, and H was 6 months. C and B weren't even a thought yet.
Just to give you an idea of how excited people were, the very first time we came to church, we were nervous. During Sacrament Meeting, Anthony and I looked around and realized there were almost no little kids. But after the meeting, we were smothered by tons of people and they were so excited to hear that we were the family that had just moved in. I think that's actually an understatement, they were elated! The very next week, they called a nursery leader so my little A could attend nursery. That's how crazy it was, not even a nursery! I hear all the time about ward with 2 or even 3 nurseries because there are just so many kids. I felt bad for the nursery leader, having to miss out on Sunday School just to spend time with my little A. But she didn't mind, or so she said, but I believed her.
A few months later, the stake divided it's boundaries differently in an effort to make sure every ward within our stake had enough priesthood holders, high priests, and young men/women. As a result, the condos, that were originally in another ward, were put into our ward. A lot of younger couples with little kids live there which made our primary (and nursery) much larger.
And slowly, over the last five years that we've been here, more and more younger couples have moved into the homes, too. Which has made a huge difference in the size of all the faculties in the ward.
I think that because we were one of the first of the younger families to move in, we were befriended by many different ranges of people in the ward from many different walks of life. I can't tell you how great that was for us. We have made some great friends. This ward has been such a blessing in our lives. We've lived in several different wards during our marriage and this one has got to be our favorite. There were no cliques. It's hard to find that within a ward, especially here in Utah. It seems that people tend to clique off with those of their own age and have about the same ages of kids and such. It makes sense, but it's kind of sad. We have made some really great friends here. Some of them are our parents' ages, some are newlyweds, some have teenagers and some don't have kids at all. Some are married, some are single, and some are the teenagers themselves. We absolutely love it!
Sadly, I see it changing a bit with some of the younger families/couples in our ward. Maybe they don't realize what they are missing out on by secluding themselves within their own group. Some of our best memories have become the ones we share with our friends in the ward. The wisdom that comes from our empty nester friends and the ones that have great life experience, is irreplaceable. This is where our new season comes in. We have transitioned from the "young couple" with just a couple of kids to the, well I don't know what to call it, the not-old-but-not-young couple with the 5 kids. It's kind of strange.
Hopefully, they (and especially I) can reach out to one another and other members of the ward and share our lives to an extent. I, most certainly, am not the best at doing this. Many of the friendships in our ward have come as a direct result of either Anthony's outgoing nature or just because people were so excited to have a young family in the ward, they invited us to do something.
I am shy. Realizing that many people tend to misinterpret shyness as rudeness, I know that I need to be more outgoing and put myself out there. Here's to more friendships!