Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It Takes a Village

Have you ever noticed that there are some things in your adult life that you insist you do--or don't do--because of the way you were raised? Seems obvious enough. Some patterns of our childhood we repeat; others we avoid.

For me, I strive to repeat many. One of the most important ones to me is creating a sense of community and family, beyond our immediate family, for our kids. My parents did a great job modeling relationships with the world. We were (and still are) deeply entwined in our extended family and my parents had no shortage of good to great friends.

We always had a pool, so we hosted company on a regular basis, my parents threw parties like crazy and were always going out with friends. For our friends, most often, my brother and I had the "hang-out" house. We traveled with family and friends, sharing experiences and creating lifelong memories. We celebrated holidays and special occasions with family and friends--there was a community much greater than our immediate party of four.

Young and old, professional and blue collar, rich and poor, stable and incredibly unstable--we saw it all and saw our parents enduring relationships--up and down, strained and nurtured, in times of celebration and in times of need--with family, friends, neighbors, business acquaintances, the bug exterminator, the vet, doctors, the mailman, the bank teller and more.

Our family's relationships ran deep and wide--and still do. My whole family is like that. And now, I am committed to creating that environment for my kids. We recently traveled to Spring Mill State Park with some friends for an overnight stay. We had a great time--but the kids, they had a fantastic time that I am confident they will remember for years to come (pictures on the photostream).

I want them to know if they ever need anything, just ask and someone we know will help them get it done. I want them to know that if anyone they know ever asks for help, they should be the first in line to provide the needed help. I want them to know that it takes all kinds and we need everyone in our lives to help us be successful. I want them to know that life is about so much more than themselves--and I think they get it already!


Anne said...

Thanks for including us in part of your village. Love the springmill pics.

Anonymous said...

I think you have the same kind of home now as you did growing up (okay, no pool). It seems to be the place to gather and you are always hosting this or that. The words about helping each other are so true. The world has really gotten away from this mindset. Good for you that your kids understand it - hope the rest of us are as lucky!