This week Titus (21 months), Stefanie, and I decided to go for a walk one evening in our neighborhood. It was about 5pm, the sun was about an hour from setting, and the day was cooling down. It is the time of day where most people leave their houses and visit each other.
We live on the second floor of a house and as we descended the stairs, which empty onto the small path in front of our place, we were immediately in the middle of a pack of grandmas. Titus ran up to the first grandma, smiled, placed his little right hand on top of his left hand and extended his hands. The grandma then took his hands and raised them up to his forehead and said a little blessing. This happened six more times, as Titus greeted each and every grandma sitting there. He loves it. We
love it. They really love it.
We left the grandmas behind us and kept going. Stefanie and I were about 2 feet in front of Titus, who usually likes to go at his own pace, and is easily distracted by everything from trash to lizards to holes in the path. We were only about 20 feet from our house and 19 feet from the pack of grandmas when we heard Titus go down. We turned quickly to see him flat on his back. He had walked on some loose gravel, slipped and his feet went out from under him. The tears began to fall and his cry got
really loud. Stefanie immediately scooped him up and as she did the blood began to flow, really flow. Lesson learned: head wounds bleed! We ran back to the house, up the stairs, and disappeared inside.
We comforted the little guy, stopped the bleeding, and cleaned the wound. After about five minutes, the three of us were sitting on the floor of our living room, Titus was still fighting back tears, and we heard a “hodie” at the door. This is the typical island greeting to let you know someone is at the house and wants to come in. We looked up yelled “karibu,” which means come on in, and we saw the mom from next door. She came up to check on our son. Then we heard more commotion on our front
porch, and we saw a few heads peer in the door. Every grandma, whom Titus had just greeted, all of them, had come up the stairs to make sure their little grandson was ok.
We love living in community. Sometimes it’s loud, sometimes it lacks privacy, sometimes it means giving up nicer places elsewhere, but we love living in and entering into island communities. We love the sense of belonging, the protection, the
camaraderie. We love that the grandmas of the neighborhood claim Titus as their own. What a bunch of grandmas!