Spring in San Diego
A Growing Time
By Connie Goldin, MA, MFT
I have always loved the concept of “the sewing circle” where early American women would come together to chat and support one another as they mended socks or made new clothing for their families. Now we text, Skype, Facebook, “tweet,” and use e-mail to keep in touch. Happily, we still come together with friends and loved ones to share fun times and to give love and support. Mom to Madre is privileged to meet many families each month as we share our ideas on raising happy, joyful children, who are ready to embrace learning.
This spring, we have grown different types of plants, learned about toxic and safe plants in our homes and gardens, and have even grown two Monarch butterflies from cocoons we were given. Five of us took part in the Neighborhood House Association, Head Start PERC conference in April. Thanks to Pat B, Susana D., Donna G., and Maria R. for joining me for the fourth year at this wonderful event for Head Start families. We shared fun science activities with families, and as usual, this class was like a big party! Kids were in attendance, so we had eager volunteers for testing out the play dough, “slime,” and “snow dough.” One grandma asked how she could get the recipes without access to the Internet. I told her to give me a call, and she did. It was a pleasure giving out recipes for these concoctions, especially knowing that this grandma was excited to share them with her grandson. Donna spoke from years of experience on kindergarten readiness; and Susana, shared her experiences as an immigrant in her popular class on being bicultural. Pat manned both the science activities table and the Mom to Madre resource table; and Maria, provided kind and gracious translation and outreach to Spanish speaking families.
Maureen B. and Julie C. met with expectant teens, at a local high school, in March and April. In March, teacher and artist, Maureen, gave a watercolor class that really delighted the girls. Nurse, Julie, brought her ten-month-old son, Gabriel, to both meetings, to show his monthly development. The second class was a crafts project–making sachets from lavender and cloves– and we talked about safe and toxic plants as a part of “child proofing.” These classes are a joy for Mom to Madre and a wonderful opportunity to share our love of mothering with very young soon-to-be-moms. Thanks to Maureen, Julie, and baby Gabriel for this lovely gift.
As we speak and share our ideas, information, and experiences with parents, we are sowing seeds of interest, learning and love. It is wonderful to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds as we all meet to talk about ways to help children grow, develop a sense of wonder and joy, and be able to excel in school. In this way, our sewing circle is, in fact, a “sowing circle” as we plant new ideas, help propagate what we know helps children, and disseminate pertinent information that is useful to families. We are enjoying reaping the fruits of our labors as we are able to meet more families each year.