Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

July 10, 2005


Happy Birthday Heartland Baha'i School! You've played a major part in the lives of this family in your twenty years. Billy and I met way back in 1988? at a summer session. I must have been 15 and Billy 17. We were both way too shy around the opposite sex then to really know each other. Billy sort of remembers that there was a girl there named Bahiyyih but I really don't remember Billy very well. Oops! We must have been in youth class together too! Oh well.

A lot happened in the intervening nine years before I met the famed big brother of David and Zivar again (and found him to be completely unforgetable). We both went on years of service, went to college, became disillusioned with college and/or had a hard time at college, survived parental divorces, worked for a while, went back to college wiser and poorer and finished up, sang in choirs, worked at our first real jobs and/or started graduate school, lived in our first apartments on our respective own, had serious relationships, and learned to cook for large numbers of people in group houses.

Then I started helping out at and devotedly attending Heartland under the tutelage of Jan Harper, friend and housemate, and had many 'Heartland moments' where my whole social orientation would turn upside down as I experienced a really loving and growing Baha'i community that taught me how to have a spiritual focus to my life. Beautiful! And very hard to leave!

And then Billy and I met again, went to summer Heartland while 'getting to know each other's character', got married in short order and went to winter Heartland together as a new couple (we were in charge of the music and tried to teach everyone sort of complicated gospel songs). We felt so supported there and saw families with young children there supported so well by the group that we caught a glimpse of how Baha'i family life could be. We had just decided we were ready to have children and that was a wonderful confirmation.

I got to help out planning the youth program for a few years when Georgia was a baby and little person and that helped me stay in touch with some really excellent friends during those years of adjustment to the sometimes isolating work of parenting. Our family kept going to the summer and winter schools as often as we possibly could afford, both in effort and money, as we had Maya and now Teresa. And every time, our kids were treasured by all the grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and even little cousins of the Heartland family. Recently, we've realized that there are a bunch of homeschooling families that come and have just started to connect with them on that level.

We just got back from the summer school yesterday and this year was even more special as our 'family' welcomed Teresa and we got to see old friends and their new babies. And Billy and I fely completely embraced by all the loving help we got with our kids. There were wonderful teachers for the older ones and a loving nursery helper for Teresa and we were absolutely shocked to be able to actually attend some adult classes here and there. (that's a sign of growth for Billy and I as parents too- I remember the first few Heartlands with kids being such a struggle because we expected to be able to actually attend adult class) Kris Merkle made a great little movie scrapbook about the last twenty years at Heartland and it reminded me of all this great stuff. I wonder what will unfold in the next twenty, and what our little family will do to help it grow.

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One of the founding families of Heartland, the Martins (Debbie, Scott, and daughter Luella)

Here are three of the Heartland babies this year- Timmy, Amia, and Teresa, playing in the nursery. Timmy was very sweet and gave out lots of kisses. I got more good Amia time there- I gave her apples and took her to mama when she was crying. I think she remembered because she said 'where mama?' the next time she came to me. Oh! That reminds me that Georgia said her first word in the cafeteria at summer Heartland when she was nine months old: dada. I didn't really believe it when I heard it but Bahia Quinlan (ever the defender of the small child) heard it too and insisted that she really did.

Posted by Bahiyyih at July 10, 2005 06:01 PM