Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Kind of Mothering

Thinking about Mothers' Day yesterday led me to realize that although my kids have been away from home for more than 20 years, and my kids and grand kids don't live nearby, I've recently begun another kind of mothering. It's like this:

I'm now the Street Steward Coordinator for our neighborhood emergency preparedness committee. That's a mouthful, and more simply means that I'm looking after the people in each neighborhood who have agreed to meet with their neighbors and give them information about emergency preparedness. The job includes keeping in touch, teaching, supporting, answering questions, reminding, facilitating, encouraging, thanking --- all the things that mothers do.

In turn, I'm meeting new people and performing a support function that will help everyone in case we experience an emergency; earthquakes and wild fires are our most likely dangers. We hope we'll never need to implement our emergency plans, but if we do, we know that the outcome will be better than if we had not prepared. And we're learning that there's an immediate benefit, too: community building. Neighbors are meeting long-time neighbors for the first time and forming new bonds: neighbors helping neighbors. I might even begin to use the verb "to neighbor".


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