One of the most wonderful things about the kindergarten my wee boy attends is the sense of community spirit it evokes. Not just in me, but I would say in the majority of parents who take their wee ones there.
Obviously it is not for everyone. But it is definitely for us right now. There are many reasons for that, but one I especially want to share.
Recently, one of the mums at Kindergarten gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Having had a challenging pregnancy, most of us were aware that our friend was very likely to have her baby early. And so it was to be. The beautiful, tiny wee boy was born at 28 weeks and is, up to this point in time, using all his strength and determination to laugh in the face of adversity and just show the world what he is capable of. It is amazing. His parents are truly incredible. His brothers are as gorgeous as ever.
The community within which this has happened, kicked into action with a speed unbeknown to most, so that within hours, alongside many other things, a food rota had been organised, which we all signed up for, in order that the family would have good, hearty, home cooked food as often as possible, without having to think about it.
Food is what sustains us. Food energises us. Food has the capability to nurture our inner souls, not in itself, but in the process of sharing. It is a language akin to music, which is universal. To be able to do this one small kindness, knowing that it means so much to those you are giving to, is overwhelmingly gratifying.
Also, it does mean you can’t just bob round and cook beans on toast…
So I have decided to make a stew. Yes, I know, not the most glamorous of dishes, but when it comes to warming the cockles of your heart on a cold winter’s evening, nothing beats it. Also, it’s a doddle to make and, if there’s any left you can always freeze it for another day. Alongside that I am making some bread rolls, which can, once again be frozen if they are not needed that day, and are perfect for little hands.
Then that will be my meal for the family cooked, until my turn comes around on the rota again. It’s not much, but it helps, and collectively it is making a huge difference to our friend’s lives. Not just in terms of the food, but in terms of the love that accompanies it. And that is unquantifiable, priceless and what community is all about.