They say it takes a village to raise a child. An entire village. And that’s the truth. A fact. I know this because that’s my lived experience.
I grew up in a community of less than a 1000 people. Everyone knows everyone. Maybe even arguably, at least at times, a little too well.
But that’s okay.
Like when you’re out walking with your friends as a kid, chatting, and you get home to angry parents who had a phone call and knew whatever foolishness you were talking about.
Parents call your parents. Everyone is looking out for you. So you learn to talk a little quieter. Because, hey, you’re a kid and sometimes you just wanna be up to no good.
In winter storms, nearby neighbours would walk me home from the school just a couple houses away. To make sure I got home okay.
And I loved school. I was so excited to start. My childhood best friend was a year older than me, and so I waited for him to finish school so we could play. And fight. Because that’s what we did.
And when one of us wanted to go get a bag of chips and a can of pop, we went to one of our mothers and whichever one gave us enough money so we could both get something.
That was just how it was.
Everyone, as I have said, is looking out for everyone.
When I left for university, a gentleman who I refer to as “uncle,” who everyone refers to as “uncle” gave me 20 bucks whilst talking to me in a lineup at the bank. 20 bucks and best wishes.
And that meant the world to me. I couldn’t tell you how much that was actually worth.
In L’Anse au Loup, neighbours invite you over for Sunday dinners. Or drop them off to you.
Neighbours become friends. And your friends are your family. And everyone is, well, looking out for everyone.
I can still hear the voices of mothers yelling out the window for their children. My friends. It was lunch time, or supper time, or time to go in for the night.
“Just ten more minutes, please mom. Pleaseeeee!”
I would love to have just ten more minutes of that right now.
Just ten more minutes…