It Takes a Daycare

January 13, 2009
By Olivia Stich, Hartland, WI

After my mom was left with five kids to look after by herself the task seemed impossible. Everybody gives her credit for raising astute children, but she didn’t do it by herself, despite being a single mom. She had to solicit help. That somewhere was daycare. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is exact. My village wasn’t an army of child care providers, but rather the big kids in my program. They took care of me from preschool to second grade, and I loved every second of second of it.

Although they became angry from playing with vexatious, little kids all day, they taught me everything teachers don’t. My favorite was learning how to make friendship bracelets. The rainbow strings taught me patients and hard work. The big kids also showed me how to stand up for myself. When they were being less than amicable, and wouldn’t let me join their Spice Girls group, I would look past my childhood maladies and become stronger. They taught me good judgment. The slightly nefarious pranks they would play on deserving teachers showed me it was okay to not be a tattle tale sometimes. But when someone was hurt, it was okay to tell a supervisor. I was taught where babies come from, how to punch someone in the face, and lyrics to the naughty songs on MTV.

I admired how the big kids didn’t scrutinize my runny nose and naïve behavior. They took me into their care and taught me the important lessons in life. You might think my friends were inappropriate and the information I received was ineffectual or useless. That is not true. I think my childhood made me a well rounded individual. My village was a child’s paradise. Most of my life wisdom came from a bunch of kids who didn’t hit puberty yet.

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