Growing up in rural America I learned many useful skills that enhance my thrival as a suburban nurturer. Being raised with six other siblings also gave me insight into a variety of viewpoints and perspectives providing opportunities to evolve into the nurturer I am today.
Stop. Look. Listen.
The first dirt road life lesson is to Stop. Look around–Watch where your steppin’. Then listen. You listen for rattles, growls and other critter calls as well as listening for wind, water, machinery, and the tone of people’s voices.
When I was a kid walking on a dirt road high up in the mountains we would walk slowly and carefully, looking around us for wonders as well as worries–like stinging nettle plants, a deep part of a river hidden by grass and willows, and of course animals like rattlesnakes. One time we saw something on the road ahead but when we stopped, looked, and listened we determined it was dead. We approached cautiously and discovered the recently shed skin of a rattlesnake. Another time we came upon a very large moose eating. We slowly backed away. I also learned to steer clear of people who were angry (voice), drunk (slurred speech), and mean girls who thought they were empowered by destroying others.
Stop. Look. Listen. is also applicable to nurturing in suburbia. Sidewalk doo doo, escape wiener dogs, and wasp nests are all dangers lurking in suburbia. Forgiving impatient drivers, avoiding drunks, and teaching my daughter that the mean girls cruelty comes from their dislike of themselves are dirt road skills that help me pass on thrival skills to my offspring.
May you all be blessed with a little dirt road wisdom in your nurturing journey.