RE: Re: Children: Benefits for, and stories about
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 07:54:33 -0600
Story about kids and community. I was hunkered down underneath my car doing 
something oily and I could see down the street as one of my neighbors was 
trying to set out some metal light fixtures to spray paint. Every time she 
lined them up, her toddler would carry one off or otherwise disrupt the 
process.  I was sort of tied up working on the car so I couldn't help her, but 
I didn't need to. Rosemary, another neighbor, walked up to the toddler with a 
couple little baskets, and took her hand and diverted her into picking 
berries, while the mom gratefully arranged the lights and painted them without 
further interuption.

The thing that I did not realize until later reflection is that Michelle never 
had to ask for help. Her neighbors saw her needs, and helped her in the sort 
of quiet, unspoken way that communities work.

Another story: One day our neighbors were in a dither because the in-laws were 
coming to visit for the first time, and the house was a mess and they had very 
little time to work on it. I took their two boys off on a long expedition in 
the greenbelt to look for frogs, bugs, birds and the like. I kept an ear 
cocked for the arrival of the in-laws, and delivered the boys right as 
Grandpa, and Grandma arrived. The house was spotless, and I never mentioned 
the field trip. However, after the inlaws left, I came home to find a six pack 
of very good beer on my front step with a simple card that just said, 
Community works!

Another story: (I could go on all day about this) I noticed one summer evening 
my daughter had a new bandage on her elbow. She had been playing on the other 
side of the community and had fallen down. A neighbor heard her crying, 
comforted her, brought her in and cleaned her up, bandaged the small scrape, 
fed her some cookies and juice and sent her off, good as new. I never even 
knew about it until I saw the bandage, my neighbor did exactly what I would 
have done.

final story for this evening: One day one of the older kids was walking down 
the road with an adult I did not recognize. She was clearly showing the place 
off and I thought maybe it was a tourist (we get a lot of those) had asked her 
for a tour. I thought I would check and it turns out he was her teacher from 
school. He was so impressed with her conflict skills, group skills, and 
maturity in working with adults, that he had come see this place she lived. He 
later joined another cohousing group.

The stories go on an on, every day brings new ones. After so many years here I 
just take it for granted.

Rob Sandelin

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