Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grandfriends











I often tell new parents that Wilmington Montessori is a village raising children; a village of teachers, parents, aunts, uncles, and yes, grandparents and special friends. It takes all of us working together to raise children well. At our recent Grandfriends Day here at school, I reiterated the point that grandparents and special friends are an important part of our school community - our village of children.

Whether these friends live near or far, these are special people who further surround children with love - complementing the experience provided by parents. Maria Montessori understood that young children live in the moment. Sometimes parents don't appreciate those moments. But grandfriends seem to have an ability to look at the world through the child's eyes. They explore the world side by side with a grandchild. As children grow, they become more and more interested in the world beyond what they can touch and see. Grandfriends share stories of their past when they were young, of the child's parents, and time before ours that provides a place for children in the family history and indeed the larger history of the world.

My husband and I are blessed to have grandparents who live nearby as well as other Aunts and Uncles who support us in our roles as parents. Like other parents, we rely on them for support when we can't be there, they take care of sick children, and they are always there when someone has to work late. But more importantly, they share their lives, their memories of a time before ours, and provide unconditional love and support for our sons. Our children's lives are so much richer because of the time they spend with their extended family.