Wednesday, 13 April 2016
It takes a village.....
Yesterday afternoon I got a Whatsapp call - now these are still a surprise to me every time I get them. But the photo that dusplayed with the call clearly showed two boys in our school's uniform. So I pick up. Turns out it's a mom of a grade 3 boy (that we have never shared a class or team with before so I do not know them by sight) - she introduces herself and ask if I am C's mom. I confirm. She says that the rugby practice for their team has finished half an hour early so she thought to give me a call rather than let the boys wait for so long. I was so thankful. She offered to drop them but I declined as our au pair and A had to leave the house in a few minutes in any event and just picked them up then before dropping A at ballet. By then I have found her on Facebook and recognized her photo. Indeed we have had a few chats before on the school ground - her name did sound familiar.
But guys, this is our village. The moms that when a party invite on a Whatsapp group shows up offers to ferry whoever needs to go. The ones that call you and offer to fetch if maybe you can take kids somewhere. The ones that on the class' Whatsapp group types: " I am in shop x and the item we need for Friday costs R20. Who wants? I will wait for 5 minutes before I buy". Our village basically is the other parents at school. Likie the mom that send me a message to say that her son has stopped with Judo and she knows we are missing a pair of pants - would we like his gi? And no, she does not want money for it. And in return we help each other - this morning I get a Whatsapp from one of L's friends' mom - she has already dropped him at school but forgot tuck shop money - can I maybe send him some and she will give it back tomorrow morning via L? I will gladly do - because next week she will do something for me. It's a bit like borrowing sugar from your neighbour in that old village.
I guess the Whatsapp groups is a whole discussion on their own - sometimes I hate them (and mute them) but more often than not they are helpful. A's class has one that creates a new dimension to the village idea. The moms will post all assessments etc as reminders - our A is good at telling us everything but some moms says that it is the only way they would know of everything. So you would the Sunday get a list of assessments this week. If someone has something to add they will. But of course - the golden rule for Whatsapp groups works well in this one - no one says tnak you a million times, you only use it if you have something helpful to add or need to ask . No jokes, no adds, no 24 "thank yous". Plain and straight to the point. A wonderful helpful village in your phone.
I have to admit that maybe it takes a bit of time and effort to establish that village - and some year's parents are more helpful than others - but it is so totally worth it. And sometimes it even surprise you by growing on it's own - like yesterday.