I love the fact that either my husband or I was able to be home with our kids throughout their younger years, so we were their most important influence. But other adults in their lives, our “village,” were invaluable in making them the terrific people they are today:
Our private music instructor This special woman entered our lives when Oldest Sister was in 2nd grade and, thank goodness, hasn’t yet left us. 10 years of piano lessons for oldest, 8 years and counting of vocal instruction for Sister #2, and 2 years of vocal instruction for The Boy (once he wised up and realized he needed her to get where he wanted to be musically). Not only has she helped them become extremely accomplished and successful musicians, she takes an interest in their lives, encourages them in the decisions they make about school work and college, and offers thoughtful advice about attitude, mindset, and how to approach any important task.
Our friend and neighbor, Bernadette Bern is my good friend and coauthor, and also a fantastic role model for meaningful living for our three kids. She and her husband owned a local cafe and employed Oldest Sister while she was in high school (she still says it’s the best job she ever had). Bern helped Sister #2 and The Boy with contacts for great jobs, as well. Every interaction they have with her makes a lasting impression on them.
Various amazing teachers Our high school is a place of strong community and academic excellence. There were the music teachers the kids had for four years in a row (sometimes for several hours in a day), who taught as much about life as about music. There were history, government, calculus, English, Spanish, and physics teachers with brilliant mastery of their subject who also knew how to inspire and motivate kids. Both girls travelled to South America with two of those teachers, a life experience like no other. When it came time for graduation parties, there were as many teachers on the invitation lists as there were friends and family members.
I continue to be thankful for these people who have made such important contributions to our children’s lives. Who lives in your village?