Lynn Easton.

Lynn Easton.

Early On: Hanging out with Mother Goose

Wesbrooke home to Westcoast Family Centres Mother Goose program.

Working from home can be isolating and lonely. I’ve mentioned how lucky I am that my friend from next door likes to visit. How I welcome his distinctive knock on the door and his open grin as he regularly drops in to chat during his busy day.

I am always thankful for his company.

My buddy is hard at work in Grade 1 this year and doesn’t get to lounge around for long leisurely visits anymore. Still, he’s now single-handedly widening my circle of friends as he introduced his younger sibling to the art of hanging out at my house.

It’s not a steep learning curve for her. She has spent much of her life in the company of her elders, on more than one continent, in more than one language.

And she speaks the language of intergenerational relationships with incredible ease and enthusiasm. Her comfort around people of all ages seems in stark contrast to many of our youngest citizens who are wary and afraid when their elders smile or talk to them. I know this because my mother is one of those enthusiastic seniors.

Since no one in her own brood is providing her great-grandchildren, she has taken to finding parents and their kids in parking lots and malls. She will enthusiastically chase a family down in to tell the children how beautiful they are, and tell their parents what a fabulous job they are doing.

Recently, my mom moved to Wesbrooke Village in Pitt Meadows with my father. Like anyone who makes a move, it takes time to feel at home in a new neighbourhood. But she was thrilled to discover that Wesbrooke was home to the Westcoast Family Centres Mother Goose program. That’s where parents bring their newborns and toddlers to sit in a circle and learn nursery rhymes, songs, and games.

For the past eight weeks, seniors living in Wesbrooke were invited to join in the circle and sing or shimmy along. During snack time, the toddlers crawled over to the nearest set of legs. They smiled openly at everyone. They cried and laughed at old and young with equal zeal.

I’ve been to these hour-long sessions and watched tired parents take a quick breather while seniors admire their offspring. I’ve seen seniors smile with a joy that lasts much longer than the one hour a week they get to share in this intergenerational sing-along.

Last week, marked the last of these sessions for the year. Because of changing funding models, the fate of Mother Goose and similar programs are up in the air at the moment. This happens in the precarious world of not-for-profit funding. And while these parents wait, there’s both angst, and hope, as those who depend on the program wonder whether they’ll be back next year.

It can be a long winter alone – just ask a parent or a senior.

To me, it’s a no-brainer to keep funding this program. It’s an intergenerational, fiscally responsible two-for-one. Maybe even a three-for-one, as seniors, parents, and toddlers all benefit from an hour a week of joyful noise.

Lynn Easton writes for the Ridge Meadows Early Childhood Development Committee.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Pitt Meadows Art Gallery will be running a photography exhibition through February and March.
Pitt Meadows Art Gallery featuring photography

Pros and amateurs submitted their images on a variety of themes

Fraser Health declares outbreak over at Ridge Meadows Hospital. (Google Maps)
Outbreak at Ridge Meadows Hospital declared over

The outbreak was announced at the end of December in an inpatient rehab unit at Maple Ridge hospital

The group opposing CP Rail’s proposed logistics park in Pitt Meadows has gathered signs and other materials to rally opposition. (Special to The News)
STOPCPRAIL group would stop coming rail projects in Pitt Meadows

Council wants to proceed with Harris Road underpass

Maple Ridge’s Lynda Summers took this trio in early January 2021. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Horses in January

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Victor Okunev found this abandoned floating dock on the shores of Pitt Lake. (Facebook)
Nature lover takes it upon himself to clean up Styrofoam mess along Pitt Lake

“If you see trash – pick it up!” says Port Moody’s Victor Okunev

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Most Read