Growing up in rural Mississippi in the early 1900's four sisters learned a lesson that stands the test of time. Even dementia can't strip the bonds that were forged on their trips to the outhouse.
Gently waking your sister up and asking, no begging, her to bear the darkness with you. Grasping hands and tip-toeing through the grass. Feet wet as you make your way up the path. Secrets told, fights mended, promises made on the trail.
Going with your sister because you knew you might need her to go with you next.
Some 80 years later and I've heard it said that they still grab each others hand and go to the outhouse/bathroom. Their memories faded, their hair gray, and yet when all together they grasp each others hands. It's just a habit. The years have gone, their minds almost, but their hands are familiar. Always familiar
The common bond never broken.
No longer young and silly but none the less miles and years couldn't break the habit that was formed. Holding hands. Such a simple gesture of friendship, safeness from the darkness.
Still remembered after all these years.
Their trips to the outhouse no longer made together but their hands have held each others during wars and weddings and oh the many babies and funerals. Hands held as they buried their dad and then their mom. Under blankets against the coldness of the world.
It's the simple day to day things that we do over and over that will be remembered by our children.
So many of our children are never taught to take that journey with their brothers or sisters to the outhouse.
We make it easy now. No more roughing it, no more cold nights, no more grabbing each others hands in the dark.
Our older children are sheltered from the burden of their little siblings because they need a childhood after all and if I made them help then they would have to grow up way too fast and that just wouldn't be fair.
I don't believe that was the attitude of mamaw's day. I believe older kids were taught that you helped with the chores and the crops and yes, the babies. The lines were not blurred as they are today.
Today most of us don't have crops and we don't have outhouses. Our family sizes reflect a size that we can handle. We are no longer dependent on anyone, not even God.
I often hear"I can't handle two much less 8, you must be a saint." I can assure you the latter is not true. But what is true is that Taylor, Tucker, and Cooper share an attitude that we're all in this together. They make bottles. They wipe noses. They prepare food. They garden and feed animals and hang out clothes. They wash clothes. They protect. They teach. They love...........They comfort.....
Is this an event in their life? No, it's just their life. They don't think what they're doing is something special, they're just doing what's been taught.
Just like in the 1900's they are just making their way to the outhouse and they have hands that make their journey something to remember.