March 7, 2010

Day 7 Lovin Nelson- Valuable Treasures

Give a kid a break! A beautiful little boy just came up to me while I was editing and offered to sell me a magnet, his friend and he had just made them. He then came down to Oso Negro to sell them. It takes courage to do the cold call thing, to walk up to adults and ask if they want to buy something that was just created. The part I don’t get is, he is only asking asking a dollar each, the room is filled with people drinking 3 dollar coffees and not one person bought one? He steeled himself going from table to table dealing with the “no thanks you’s”. It is not easy being a child in our culture. Kids are generally not seen during the day, they are institutionalized from breakfast till just before dinner. When I am out with my children one of the first questions which is often asked is “Why are you not in school?”. For anyone who has travelled elsewhere you probably saw how in many other cultures children are much more integrated. They go to work with their parents, they take care of each other while playing out in the streets. Kids are seen and heard all the time. They are dispersed within the community.

I want to live more in community. I do live in A community, even a tightly knit, caring community. What I really want though is to no longer live in a house with a yard, next to another house with a yard. I want community gardens, community art projects, space to be alone, space to be together, easy access to everything I need in a comfortable setting with friends all around me. And I want kids, lots of kids, to help out, to experience learning outside of a classroom. I want my children and the children around me to feel honoured and valued, I want them to know that their home-made valentines magnets are worth as much to me as a cup of coffee.

(picture of my new magnet, and that there is Oso Negro in the background, this is the view from my “office”)

I got this little gem for 2 dollars and 50 cents, same price I paid for my cappuccino. I think I got a hell of a deal.

“How do children show up in your daily life?” is the question in 12 days journal #329


  1. that is such a cute tale about the magnet midget. well the kids dont show up no more, as im living alone again.. hurrah! i find though kids are attracted to me LIKE a magnet. take for instance this soiree i had last week, all the girls took separate turns playing with my hair. and the boys wanted to play hide n seek. and this 2 yr old came to sing/scream mary had a little lamb in my ear every 10 seconds, like it was our song. Haa haa quite funny.

  2. I brought this amazing hand drawn colouring book from a boy once at a Dead show. I loved the time he had put into it, the idea he had for creating it and I loved supporting his creativity and courage to put it out there. I just came across it again the other day and it brought a smile to my face.

  3. My kids show up on Facebook. Mostly I don't comment on their posts because they are talking to other kids and I don't want to intrude. Sometimes I put in a funny or wise remark that is too good to miss. When I lived in Procter (pop. ~300) there were many kids and though we lived in houses with yards it was a natural community. I remember pointing out to a newcomer who wanted to create some kind of community there that one already existed. I suspect that it is easier to work with what exists and create or improve the sense of community, rather than trying to start something new. We do pretty well in Nelson, but more could be done. But it can be done with people regardless of our living arrangements I think. Childrens creations are so important. I once screwed up what I though was a piece of waste paper my daughter had handed me, and it was a drawing she had done She was devastated and it took a lot of apologies and reassurance to set things right. I'll never forget that.