It would never have occurred to my mother or my mother in law that there could be fun in the raising of children. It simply was not in the frame of thought in their lives. Children were work for my mother with eight and too much work for my mother in law with one.
That they could add something enriching the children’s lives that might serve them in life was as unreal as the idea that children were a special trust to enhance mankind’s progress. This thinking is beyond many people today when children are simply added burdens to lives already heavy with problems.
When families struggle to put food on the table, to pay overwhelming bills and too many days left before the next payday and cupboards almost bare, understandable are the priorities and yet as the maxims state, the unfed mind is as hungry as the unfed body.
We are familiar with hard times. Decisions were made at personal cost to wants to favor needs of the children. Children’s time for the insertion of good habits is brief as is the influence of the nurturer whose care they are before the door opens to outside pressures.
When I look at photos of our Emma E. and see how playgrounds evolved from what her family would consider dinosaur equipment and see the current pail and shovel still holding fascination, I think how things have changed and still remain the same.
We thrilled to the fact that the librarian knew the boys’ names as well as mine. And we were allowed to take 25-30 books home in a box at a time. Free! And we laughed with joy when we could afford a record player and each took their wands and conducted the orchestra to the Sound of Music and a teaspoon of sugar makes the medicine go down!
Times are such in places where the extended family needs to help the young to ensure that Spirit is nurtured along with the bodies. Wants of the still maturing parents can wait while the needs of their young cannot.