This afternoon, Sophie and I were returning to the van, clutching our bags of shopping. “We’ve got such a lot done today,” I remarked.
“Yes, we’re a good team,” observed Sophie. “We work well together. I like how our family is a team.”
I am always interested in Sophie’s thoughts so I asked, “What are the good things about being a team?”
“When you work as a team, you get things done. You can help and encourage each other. You grow up not being selfish but kind and generous. And friendly. You can always tell the children who are part of a family team. They include you in their games and conversation. A team also has fun together.” Sophie thought a bit more and added, “And when you’re part of a team, you feel needed and wanted.”
“How does a family become a team?”
“By spending lots of time together and doing all sorts of things together like… learning, shopping, jobs, working hard, playing, having fun.”
“Couldn’t children refuse to be part of the team?” I asked.
“Well, they could but then they’d feel left out.”
“They wouldn’t feel like they belonged?”
I guess everyone has an inner need to belong.
“How do children learn to be part of the team? How do they learn how to work together?”
“I suppose they copy their bigger brothers and sisters.”
“But what about the oldest children in the family? Who did they learn from?”
Sophie mused this over for a minute before replying, “I don’t really know… Perhaps they had to figure it out for themselves.” I couldn't come up with an answer either.
By this time we were home and Sophie was eager to show the other girls her shopping. I’d taken her to buy new running shoes. It’s not often a 7th child gets Mum all to herself for an afternoon and comes home with something new.
Sophie paraded down the hall in her black shoes with the hot pink soles: real running shoes.
“Wow!” The girls were impressed.
“They’re my elephant feet shoes,” Sophie announced, her face one huge smile.
“Elephant feet shoes?”
“Don’t you remember, Mum? I was learning about elephants the other day. They have something like gel in their feet to absorb shock as they stomp along. My running shoes have gel in them too.”
Sophie can’t wait to try out her new shoes. At 6.30 tomorrow morning she’ll get her opportunity. As soon as we get up, The Team will walk down to the bush tracks for our daily run.
Isn’t it wonderful to belong? Isn't it great to be part of a team?