Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Toddlers Being Citizens


Now and then a blog posting unfolds in real life.     

Several weeks ago, I wrote about Raising Citizens and highlighted the importance of seeing children as citizens today, recognizing their capabilities, and strengthening relationships between children and the community.

Neighbors and friends down the street have a family day care. One of the many wonderful things about these two sisters, Nina and Chrissie, is that they find ways to talk with their day care children about what’s happening in the world. They are astute and attentive observers of their children, following and supporting their interests, and extending their explorations of the world. They also read Museum Notes and last week they talked to their children about Raising Citizens.  

Chrissie told the children that a neighbor, Jeanne, the one with the dog named Coco (they remembered Coco) had said it’s important for children to see the neighborhood and for the neighborhood to see the children.

On a  sunny late-winter day last week, Chrissie, Nina, and the children took a stroll down our street. Nina led with the 2 and 3 year olds in the big wagon. Chrissie brought up the rear with the 4 year olds. I was lucky enough to be looking out the window as they approached. I noticed the wagon slowed every now-and-then as it moved along the sidewalk.   

When wagon and walkers came closer, I understood the reason for the changing pace of the procession. At each house, everyone paused and the children waved. There was no sign of anyone at home at the green house or the tan house, where Jane or Rita lives. Yet, house-by-house, they waved to their neighbors.

I wish, how I wish, I had a photo, or even better, a video of these children. I do not want to forget seeing those young citizens waving to the window, to the house, to their neighbors, seeing their neighbors and letting their neighbors see them.  

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