By Erin Swenson-Klatt
I was lucky enough to grow up with two families. My little brother and I were picked up by one school bus in the mornings around the corner from my house, where we lived with our mom and dad. Another bus dropped me off in the afternoons down the street from M&M Family Child Care Home.
Michael and Marian were our childcare providers after school and during summer break. They fed, taught, challenged, and nurtured me and a whole extended family of kids, from babies up through older elementary school children. M&M threw us birthday parties, took us to swimming lessons, tolerated our art project experiments and theatrical performances, and introduced us to classics like Godzilla. They were not my first child care providers, but I was a kid there for over five years, got my first job there, and go back almost every college break for potlucks, short visits, and to work with the kids. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but M&M’s—with kids of all ages, teen helpers, parents, and Michael and Marian themselves—was more than a village; it was an extended family.
This blog post is part of the Strong Families Mama’s Day Our Way celebration. You can read more posts in the series on the Strong Families blog. Strong Families is a national initiative led by Forward Together. Our goal is to change the way people think, act and talk about families.