Small-Town Thoughts on Mother’s Day: The Life-Long Benefits of a COMMUNITY of Caring Parents, Teachers, and Friends

So many of my lifelong friends are posting thoughts about Mother’s Day.

Some are thanking Mothers who live nearby or in another state.

Some, like me, are thinking of their departed Moms and Dads.

Those who are thanking their Mothers from my hometown of Marks, Mississippi, should add my thanks to their Mothers.

Like so many kids in close-knit communities, which includes all small towns and many urban neighborhoods, we were raised by a community of parents and grandparents with shared values and a sense of responsibility to each other. Among the first things we were taught: respect not only your own parents but others. It was a very important lesson.

If kids were doing something good, other parents would praise us–and we knew the word would get back to Mom and Dad.

If kids were misbehaving, other parents would either tell us directly or tell our parents and let them handle it. So would teachers.

If kids were doing something dangerous, every parent would step in.

Perhaps I am romanticizing the past a little, but I think my memories are largely true. We were raised not only by our own parents but as part of communities–by school teachers, by Sunday School teachers, by parents of friends, and others.

To all those Mothers and Fathers, know that you have the loving thanks of generations of children, now (I hope) growing into the same kinds of caring parents and grandparents.

3 Comments
  • Vicki
    May 11, 2018

    So true…. love my small knit town.

    • Charles Lipson
      May 11, 2018

      Hahah. Your phrasing reminds me that my wife, Susan, is not only a great knitter, she has a monthly meeting of her knitting friends at our house. “Stitch and Bitch.” It’s the sort of thing that makes communities, even in big cities.

  • walt reed
    May 13, 2018

    I remember clearly growing up in a small town in NC. If anyone saw us doing something wrong, the evening meal was pretty tense. Even in High School, a teacher or Principal only had to ask one question: Do I have to call your Mother? Parents and others were on the same team. The Adult team. The Kids team always finished second.

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