As part of the Practical Parenting column, I am re-running Susan’s Musings that had to do with parents and children. The “Little Yosef” of this column is now a fifteen-year-old young man who spent the last two weeks hauling water-sodden loads out of our flooded basement.
Little Yosef, age 6, is busy writing stories about fending off wolves and building log cabins. The Little House on the Prairie series and other books depicting the same period have stimulated his imagination.
His mother tells me that he is particularly taken with the idea that children not that much older than he is now might be left alone to do a daunting job and expected to cope with all contingencies that arose.
While I don’t believe his parents are even close to handing him a rifle and instructing him to protect the homestead, Yosef’s fascination with the concept of responsibility is a positive one. As the eldest of four children, he already has been initiated into the club of those who know that what they do matters to the family. If anything his mother, as an eldest sibling herself, is sensitive to not putting too great a load on his young shoulders.