My tendency to get involved in a lot of things has not abated since I became a parent. I just more passionate about more things!
One recent success story I was proud to be involved in was in the building of a Wetlands Learning Lab at Campbell Elementary School. The school district wouldn’t pay to deal with the water that pooled on top of asphalt that had paved over a natural spring. It was a soggy and often icy mess all winter and spring.
But parents and community members came together to raise over $30,000 in addition to other grant money, to persevere through delays and to build something beautiful. Last week I wrote about the full story of the project coming to fruition, and there’s more background in this earlier article.
Another piece of engagement that inspires me is the tradition of having a mother blessing for expectant moms in my Holistic Moms Network chapter. As mothers of young children, we so rarely get to talk about our experiences — our hopes, our fears, our disappointments, our joys — for their own sake. The tradition of baby showers focuses on the baby as end-product, while in motherblessings we get to support one another as who we are in our evolving identity as mothers. We can consider the whole of our beings, from physical entity looking forward to or concerned about a safe, natural birth to intellectuals who are pondering our parenting philosophies and our future roles in and/or outside of the home. And it always helps to sit around a lit candle and have someone rub your shoulders!
It’s wonderful to hear a story after a motherblessing when a mom thanks the group for helping her get into the mindframe to have the birth she dreamed of. And in cases of disappointment about an unexpected c-section or unwanted interventions, it’s also been helpful for moms to know that others were thinking of them and are there to hear them out when they are ready to talk.
Another time I was moved to tears by collective action was the outpouring of support for my friend Liz when she was diagnosed with breast cancer with no health insurance. I started a Lotsa Helping Hands account for Liz and put up a simple blog, another friend activated a PayPal link, another took on the role of accountant, and soon money and meals were flowing in. Liz is now cancer-free, and I know the support she received during her treatment was crucial to her healing.
Although I tend to do a lot of what I do alone, late at night or early in the morning, the action I take with and on behalf of others is the most rewarding.