Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Raising Chase

“It takes a village to raise a child,” the old African adage says. 

Hillary Clinton, then First Lady, now Secretary of State, borrowed the concept for her 1996 book on raising and educating healthy kids and good citizens.  I’m borrowing the idea to think about what is so special about our newest family member, baby Chase, now eight months old. 

I think I’ve got it:  Chase is being raised by a village, the village of his extended family, my kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, aunts, uncles and cousins of all varieties and generations, from the many branches of his complex, 21st-century family tree.

The place is Sylvania, but the village is the gathering of the clan around this child.

We all watch over Chase, hold him, smile with him, make him laugh, feed him, change his diaper, play with him, play music for him, read to him.  He inspires our maternal instincts, everyone of us, the boys and the girls, the adults and the seniors, from the oldest to the youngest, that would be Philip, and in between.   He usually has three or four faces looking down at him at any given moment.   

Chase will never know what’s it’s like to be an only child, or a lonely child.  There are too many of us.  We are always in his face, and we all take incredible pleasure from it.  He knows it.  It makes him smile, pure joy, and it makes our hearts sing: a chorus from the village that is raising sweet Chase.  

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