Thursday, October 29, 2009

Developing Community at 5 or earlier

Photos of assembling the Care Giver Kits:

Project completed, time to rest!

Community, what is that all about. Is it the excited voice I hear every time Margo mentions her neighbors across the street? She loves her neighbors across the street. They play with her, draw pictures with her, are 17 and 19 years old and they help Margo learn about neighbors and community. A few years ago one of our other neighbors was struggling with cancer, so Margo and I would pick her up from the chemo sessions. Sometimes we would come early and just hang out with her while she finished the treatment. Other times Margo would come with me to deliver dinners to our friends who were sick. One such time she wanted to purchase Debbie, a pot of flowers. I was at the store to purchase some french bread to go with the spaghetti dinner, but oh no, Margo insisted on the potted flowers. So with that insistence, she needed to deliver the flowers, while I carried the food. She was a bit shy, but realized the job must be done. She so wanted to make my friend feel better. So Margo carried the flowers to my friend's door, and brought them into the kitchen. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for Margo, Debbie was still sleeping, so she did not need to say anything. Margo was about 4 years old then. I have always wondered is she learning about caring for others from these kinds of situations?

Last year, in pre-school, one of her friend's older sister had gotten very, very ill, with a strange sickness. I told Margo a little about it, and we prayed together. The next thing I know she is insisting I call Tammy (her friends mom)and offer to bring them dinner to help her friend's sister get better. So yes I called, no dinner was required, but Margo was happy, we made the offer to help. Community, I think she is getting it. I think I am getting it too. It does not need to be complicated.

Last week, on a Sunday no less, our church shut down to be part of the community Aids walk. There was a group of us, who stayed back to meet and assemble 'Caregiver Kits', for a caregivers in Africa. All the materials were provided by World Vision, we were providing the labor. So yes, I have big dreams for my little daughter and figured she could start to learn about the community that extends beyond our borders. I brought her along. In fact I was there to only assist her in her labor of love.

Everything was laid out with signs in front of each supply. We grabbed the empty orange kit box, and started down the assembly line. Little Margo sounded out the words on each sign and the number of each item and packed it in the box. She was a little slow, but definitely methodical and serious about the task at hand. No I did not explain to her the details of Aids, but I did explain to her that we were making kits to help the caregivers. Those are people, like Grandmanma Margo, who takes care of someone who is sick and needs a lot of help. Just like Grandmanma Margo takes care of Grandpapa. She seemed satisfied with that explanation, and at one point suggested we send Grandmanma one of the kits too.

Other adults would come by and quietly wait while Margo worked. They did not worry that she was a little slow, and they smiled watching her work hard. She was part of the community at our church, serving a village in Africa. Other children also came and joined in the labor of love. I think that is what is amazing about community, it is ageless. There are no lines between the generations. Each life touches another, to make the other's situation better. So yes she really is learning and experiencing community. Welcome to our world my sweet little Margo. You will go far with your enlarging heart for others.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful experience for you and your child! I agree that community is really important, as is helping others. So glad you and Margo had a wonderful time cultivating community and helping others.