Finding your village

I’m as sentimental as it gets when it comes to keeping letters and pictures from my children. Now I’ve upped the ante with the gorgeous pile of thank you notes from children in my son’s class, sent after I went along as parent help on a two-night stay at an Auckland marae.

The letters say things like; thanks for helping me pack my bag, it was fun when you jumped in the pool with us, and thanks for looking after me.  Every single one made me smile and feel grateful that I had the opportunity to go along and help out – especially when things got a little overwhelming, and a friends’ mum was as close as it got to having your own mum there.

The trip made me really proud. Proud to be part of a school that promotes camps from a young age and has a strong commitment to teaching our children about what it means to be a New Zealander, proud at the dedication of the wonderful teachers, proud to see my son in his element surrounded by his friends, and proud that so many parents were willing to take time out from their busy work and home lives to make a camp like this possible.

One of the things I really appreciate as a parent are my ‘back ups”.  They’re the mums I can call when I’m stuck in traffic and won’t make it to school pick up, the ones  who share the transport to and from sport practice, and the ones who send me photos of my kids when I can’t make a swimming carnival or school assembly.

While we may have lost the traditional ‘village’ that raised a child in times past, there’s definitely a mini-village waiting at your primary school.  I’m the mum who’s not there as often as I am, so as I sent parents pictures and texts of happy children snuggling into their sleeping bags (drifting off was an entirely different matter!), it felt nice to be able to keep the rest of the village up to date.

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About Author

Hannah Dickson

Hannah was the editor of Parenting magazine and theparentingplace.com from 2008 until 2015. She's a mother of two primary school-aged children and is passionate about baking, cupcakes and giving children a great start with a warm and creative family life.

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