May 24, 2010

The Early Influencers ~ The Name is Mom

For some reason, I originally bristled at the language, "It takes a village to raise a child." I'm sure the bristling came out of my loyalty to my mom who did just fine raising us on her own, thank you very much. But that loyalty and the bristling are misplaced. I had the benefit of community. There were women and men in the neighborhood and at church who really filled in gaps with love, time and training that made my world bigger, more interesting. They contributed by enjoying my time with them and gave dimension with gifts of thought and experience. I just needed to look a bit, to see the dimension.
I remember the first time I slept overnight at a friend's house. Lonnie,  Lisa's mom, made this magical mystery, French Toast. And she sprinkled powdered sugar on it right on my plate! My Aunt Nicki kept me for two weeks when my mom had my sister. It was a favorite vacation. I lived with cats, studied my teenaged cousin girls, sat in the back seat of her Riviera and learned the value of short summer naps. Nancy Ramocco noticed that I needed braces and offered to drive me to and from appointments during my tin grin years, while Mom was at work. We had the best conversations on the way. Gwenny's mom, Cindy Pitman knew how much I liked to swim and invited us to her pool on many, many hot summer Sundays. My grandmother Edith moved in to live with us when I was a sixth grader and taught me how to keep a home; cooking, cleaning, straightening, along with sewing, singing and stories of her youth. Evelyn Christiansen noted a leadership quality in me and suggested I become youth group president at church. When I did, she continued the encouragement by making sure I was one of the church's delegates to the diocesan convention of the Episcopal Church when I was in college. Bob Attebery took me to Dodger Games. Freddie Fosco reminded me how much better the Cubs were than the Dodgers and suggested I change the oil in my first car.
I realize, this is just a smattering of the influencers. They are many. Adding their own color to my personal tapestry. When I think about them in this way, I'm filled with joy as I see their rich gifts. I also warm greatly to the thought of what the villagers here are offering my own kiddos.
Who forms your village?


Joan Duff said...

Vicki I love this posting, I love all of them, I so enjoy reading them. You inspire me to think about so many parts of my own life, past, present, future, inside, outside, spiritual, relational, love, child, mom. Thanks

Vicki said...

Why thanks, Joan! I love them remembering of how I got to be me. And, the change of heart. The Village and their friendships become all the more important to the filling in of my own kiddos.


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