Monday, October 29, 2012

The Village

I often say that I believe in the raising of children in community. I believe in the village and feel deeply grateful for it. In the last few years, it seems that the village has been one of our greatest blessings. I can't even talk about the people who love and care for us without stringing together worn our cliches and sing-songy Hallmark sentences about warm chocolate chip cookies and puppy dogs with red ribbons. The tape runs in my mind by every unoriginal thing said about teachers and caregivers and selfless souls who invest themselves in little people. I write sentences then delete them, and eventually stop trying to say how I feel on the matter, resorting instead to the posting of pictures sent to us by one of our village favorites.

A few weekends ago the babies were able to meet up with the beautiful woman who was our childcare provider the first year I went back to school. She is awesome. And they love her. She moved away a year and a half ago and so we don't see her very often, but other obligations had us in the big city, and so she met up with the kids for a quick hello, bringing bright plastic bags with new notebooks and individual boxes of crayons. Then she sent us these pictures:

Last night Peanut sat down with her fresh notebook and decided to draw a caterpillar like unto the Hungry one made famous by Eric Carle. Then she drew a butterfly. It was the first time I had seen her little hands pull the zig-zags and huge looping O's of toddler art into a composition. It was fun to watch. Because she is getting big. And because I knew her desire to draw was born, in large part, from the gift of new crayons from a grown-up who thinks she just might be the next big thing.

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