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Posts Tagged ‘nurturing’

012518-dolls-from-my-childhood

Dolls that used to attend my “school.” I’m sorry to say that the book We Grow Up was pilfered from my second grade classroom.

On the third floor landing in the house where I spent most of my childhood, there was an alcove with a window and a couch. On nice days, the sun streamed in and revealed the perfect spot to set up a space of my own. I called it “The Little House” and hung signs around to indicate it was off-limits to everyone else.

In my space, which eventually evolved into “The Little School,” I set out all the toys related to keeping house or teaching school. The two pupils above I had received earlier. Susie, on the right, is still my favorite. She came into my life when I was 5. The cape is the original, but I don’t know what happened to the blue- and white-striped dress Susie arrived with, or her black shoes and white knee socks.

On the left is Toni, who when I was 7 brought along her hair curlers and styling lotion, courtesy of the Toni hair-perm company. I was an easy grader as a teacher but firm about hard work.

I suppose that whatever children most like to play with reflects their interests and is a way of practicing something grown-ups do that looks like it might be fun. I myself moved on from teaching dolls to using teaching as a camp counselor, a parent, an editor — and an actual teacher.

Nowadays, girls don’t seem to spend as much time with dolls, but nurturing remains a life skill worthy of being practiced by any child. When today’s small daughters enter the workforce (let’s say daughters for the sake of argument), will those engineering and truck driving jobs be the ones that are available? Young adults will probably invent new kinds of jobs, and who knows? Maybe nurturing will be useful in those fields, too. Certainly, there will always be a need for nurturing parents, caregivers, and teachers.

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