Kindness Daily: Can I Borrow Your Kids?

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Can I Borrow Your Kids? February 16, 2012 – Posted by moral12
Years ago, after a rough divorce, we were invited to live with my aunt who lived in a rural area. We packed up our stuff and moved across the country to settle into our new "home".

Once there I was worried about the lack of extended family and thought I would miss the convenience of having relatives nearby. My aunt explained to my children (and myself) that there are many different kinds of family and not all of them have two parents in the home. I didn’t think too much of this speech, being rather shell-shocked after the divorce, but her words stuck with me.

It wasn’t too long after we settled in that friends and neighbors began to come over to meet us and extend invitations for outings. Many single ladies lived in this particular locale and were very loving and affectionate with my school-aged children.

After they got to know the kids better we began to get calls: "Can I borrow your kids? I want to go to the circus and want to take them!" "I am going fossil hunting with my geology group: would your son like to come along?" "I am going hiking. Can I take your kids?" "How would your kids like to learn how to drive a mule?" And, on and on it went like that.

Not only did my children benefit from the outings by learning new things, they learned manners, geology, ecology, respect for animals and too many good things to mention. Our neighbors enjoyed the contact with the young folks, too.

My daughter, now grown and with a child of her own, mentioned to me a few days ago how much she enjoyed the outings with our extended "family" while growing up. My son still recalls going fossil hunting years ago and still talks about it! We are still friends with all these neighbors although we are all older.

Now that my own kids are grown up I find myself looking around the neighborhood myself for families with young children. I might want to go looking for frogs and turtles by the creek … or maybe the circus … and, I might just say: "Can I borrow your kids?"

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