August 4, 2009 § 4 Comments
After having family from both our sides around us helping with the kids and keeping me engaged in adult conversation, I’m having a bit of culture shock now that we’re back home. Baby brother is having some more teething discomfort and there’s very little I can do besides carry him around and nursing on and off all day. When we had family around all day even if I were holding him all day I could talk to other adults about whatever came to mind.
Some cultures, like the Balinese, have family compounds. Each smaller unit lives in a separate “house” but all of these homes have a central open area in common. I was walking around trying to get the kids to nap a couple of months ago and saw this sign that said, “multi-family” and thought of the Balinese. Life seems simpler within the compound. There are multiple generations within reach and nobody has to make anybody else feel guilty for living far away (ahem!). Children grow up assuming they will do the work their mothers and fathers do and eagerly apprentice from a young age.
I can only assume it would be difficult to adjust to living with several generations having never experienced it; both sets of grandparents had passed away by the time I was 7 years old. Now that my dad has retired from teaching I wish I could be around him all day and my future visits to California will get to be longer since he won’t be going to his old job.
Gotta run. The kale chips are done.