I have served on committees with a wonderful woman who died recently after a six month battle with cancer. Our kids went to elementary and middle school together, at a nurturing private school. At the visitation and funeral, every single family from that class that graduated from eight grade a full six months ago was there. They showed up. That’s what my people do, even if you aren’t close friends. You just show up when what is needed is bodies in pews. Not everyone in our fast paced cyberworld still does this, but lo--these kids and their busy families came from the city and far flung suburbs, left their 2 dozen different high schools and got there. We had not seen each other since graduation night last June, but there on that cold winter day, they gathered around their classmate whose mom died the week of finals. We brought baked goods. We cried. We were There. It was a moving visual on the concept of community that is so in the news right now. One of the benefits we got from paying all that tuition money was a posse, and now that I am too broke to buy that little perk for my family and especially for my kids, I am going to have to build one at home. It’s that team thing, or as my writing mentor Susan calls it Tapping in to the Network, a recent post on Chicago Mom’s Blog.
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How do you build a posse? You actually map out time in your planner for socializing, just like I finally had to mark in 3 hours a week for Being Creative. OMG, is that pathetic or WHAT? So in that Build a Posse time what kinds of activities will I plan? Potlucks and ice cream socials, field trips to the batting cages and beach, rocket building and launching days. Sleepovers. I know most of my day job consists of creating little communities for the kids I am paid to entertain and I guess I had hoped this would just “happen” for my own children, but I see now that fostering a sense of people belonging to one another and being there for one another takes time and effort. Duh. I am a little slow to the pickup on some of this. We are beings hard wired to be part of a pack, and with all our technology and staring at screens, we have lost touch with this reality. So now I see that one of my essential tasks is to get In Touch. Sharpen that pencil and take out that planner and start blocking out time for the Posse.