I had a nice talk with a parent yesterday. She feels that her young children may need “more” than what she can do at home, they may need to be with other children and get the “social skills thing” expanded a bit. She thought they might benefit from learning to trust other adults. She could use a bit of a break. She feels guilty about that. And childcare is expensive…
Above is a picture of part of my husband, John’s family on the front page of the newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi in around 1955. He is the cutie sitting down on the far left. This is a typical Sunday lunch! This is how he grew up, in this pack of loving adults and cousins. Of course, they were not always loving. There were some smacked bottoms in those days; it was the 50s, after all! But mostly accepted, listened to, taught, shared.
John’s mom had this pack of nice grownups with ownership for these kids. The kids had several houses to run to, lots of folks with whom to walk downtown to the grocery store, bank, 5 and Dime, drug store with soda shop, and school. Lots of grownups to correct you when you screwed up, and to notice when you didn’t. A community of kids from whom to learn “social skills”, like not to pick your nose, and not to punch your big sister, who is stronger than you.
Without all of this, it is nice to have “school”. It is nice to extend your pack of grownups and kids.
I’m thankful that Hillary Clinton made her “it takes a village” speech, because we had forgotten that many of us had a village, growing up, and that it helped, a lot.
Here’s to your village.