Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Invisible Structure: Community
Permaculturists learn to consider "invisible structures," those aspects of our lives that emerge from the physical structures we build or steward. Our co-housing neighbors are in some pretty intense meetings as they proceed on condoizing, and their kids need to hang out somewhere not underfoot; The solution is my house!
My housemate took the babysitting responsibility, so I got to practice my skills at being a favorite uncle (or someday, grandfather!). The littlest one was the most fun. His soundtrack consisted of four syllables: "mommydaddeeemommydaddeeemommydaddeee!" Oh, yes, and a fifth, used as punctuation: "up!"
I tried many things, but the one that worked was to squeeze in the answer, "Later, before bedtime," when he took a breath. This short answer, that he'd see them later, got in his head, and he needed less "up!" after that.
I love supporting my neighbors like this. Someday I might reminisce about my mom parenting all the neighborhood kids when they'd play at our house, and how parenting other people's kids falls in and out of favor.
Posted by Robert van de Walle