Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Every Kid Should Have Six Moms!

Act #149:  Expand your child's family circle.

For the past week, I've been holed up in a beach house with five girlfriends and our 9 children.  Don't worry, we brought lots of wine.  My five-year old is an only-child who is used to routine, having his own space, and playing independently.  Besides his parents and grandparents, he doesn't really spend significant amounts of time with many other adults.  He's always been a quiet, non-assertive little guy, who has clung to me in unfamiliar social settings, so it bewildered me greatly that by the end of the week, this kid was asking various "aunts" for snacks on his own, holding their hands (rather than mine) while crossing streets, dancing with them on seafood shack dance floors, and choosing to stay back at the house with some aunts while his mother made a grocery store run. This week my son had six moms, and I have no doubt that this experience has impacted him immensely.  It certainly has impacted me.  For the first time I learned what it really means when they say, "It takes a village".  I learned to trust in the power of community parenting as I watched my son transform into a healthy, comfortable, trusting, and confident little boy - right before my eyes, over the course of five days.  So in a daunting, relentless world where we read daily about harm inflicted on innocent children, it brings me great comfort to know that if only I open myself to it, there is a village out there waiting to embrace, nurture, and protect my child.


  1. It's been neat to see that concept of "community parenting" evolve as more and more women in my circle have become moms. When we have everyone together - when there are kids from all different families hanging out and playing - it's heart-warming and awesome to see all the adults keeping a common eye on all the kids, and, simultaneously, all the kids being (mostly) open to feedback and engagement from all the adults.

    As my one friend puts it, she wants her daughters to understand the concept of respecting elders (even if that's not exactly how she phrased it), not just listening to what their own parents have to say.