|Connected in Love|
Picking Up Our Chiildren's Slack
This morning I got a wonderful note from a sister thanking me for the toys I sent to her sons. She had repeatedly told me that they didn’t need any more toys and I wondered when Tinker Bell had left her room.
I grew up with very few toys and as my mother said, we didn’t need them, but oh how I wanted them.
This sister was truly grateful and had shed tears of gratitude. As I read her heart-felt note, I thought of all the toys and gifts my kids have gotten from other folks.When I had agreed to care for, raise and love my sister’s kids, the people who know me also knew that I was rough around the edges. They knew I was all about education and lacking in the fun department.
What I lacked, my friends and family made up for.
My literary agent, Victoria sent gifts each Christmas and no matter what I had ordered from the Sky Mall catalog; Victoria’s presents were always their favorite. (Hey, I was always traveling so when was I going to shop? Besides, my purchases were educational.)
Every week, Uncle Earl and Uncle Vincent took the kids someplace fun. They’d play video games for hours on end or would watch one animal in a huge zoo because that’s what they had wanted to do.
Each year when Uncle Aaron and Aunt Janet’s Christmas CD arrives, my daughter proclaims, “Now it’s Christmas.” She says that until it gets here, it’s just not Christmas time.
Aunt Connie and her daughters Aunt Rocki and Aunt Tiphanie have supplied my children’s “cool” school clothes and Christmas wear every year for as long as I can remember. When my son moved on campus, I noticed that he had left the clothes I had purchased, but had taken the ones from Aunt Connie.
When my oldest son graduated from school in California, Aunt Rocki and Uncle Darryl flew over to see him. Uncle Kevin drove down to La Jolla to join us and made him feel oh so special.
Uncle Jerry and Aunt Annette send email full of the kinds of things the kids find interesting, like Geman rap and urban thrill seekers. (WHY?)
When I was out of town Aunt Bernita played chaperone.
On not-your-birthday day (which she made up,) Aunt Jeanine supplies the fun and almost every day, Aunt Chrissy feeds them whatever they want whenever they want it. When it’s time to be silly and leave mad mommy alone, Aunt Tanya steps in.
I love my friends and family dearly, and I know they love me, but I truly love that they love my children.
Here’s my point, we are connected in love for a reason and a purpose. We all have a role to play. I believe that a part of that role is to care for the next generation in such a way that they always know they are loved.
No one can do it all.
Where love and our children are concerned; let there be no slack.
We must fill in when mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and play cousins are unable or unwilling to do what is needed and even wanted.
We should love one another so well, that the love lasts for generations to come.
Be you, be well, pick up the slack.
Bertice Berry, PhD.