Someone was at the football a few days ago. He noticed a group of about thirteen or so Aboriginal people present. Among them was a little baby.
As the game progressed he noticed that it was very hard to determine who the baby belonged to! The baby was lovingly cherished, kissed and looked after by all in the group. Eventually, the only time that they were able to work out who the mother was, was then it came to mealtime! The mother breast fed her child. Soon the baby was going around again from one loving older person to another. This included people of all ages.
How good it is to see this happen. We never evolved to be just in a nuclear family. A village used to raise a child. Certainly, an extended family.
I am certainly full of admiration for families where this is not possible for many reasons. They certainly do their best, and it is very good.
It is important in our busy lives, in our very mobile societies, to make time to continue being there for each other.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that grandparents and other members of extended family, were not physically able to be in contact with family members as often as they used to.
I remember how foundational and important my grandparents and other members of my extended family were for me as I was growing up. I still look back with great memories of those times. They certainly helped to shape me to be who I am.
Many of us have discovered ZOOM, and other ways of connecting.
However, we do it, making efforts to connect with family in whatever way possible for us, is a very good thing, and a blessing.
I was talking to my great niece, my nephew’s daughter, on the phone recently. She lives in South Australia, and I am here in the NT.
As I spoke with her, I was reminded that she is now 17-years old! I said to her “what happened to that little girl I used to know!” I have such fond memories of her and her father, as well as her aunties being little children. I was able to tell them stories, play games, etc. I treasure those times!
Investing in the lives of young children is of mutual benefit to all concerned.