It Takes a Tribe


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Parenting, Projects, School | Posted on 05-02-2013

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“It takes a village to raise a child…”

So true. But in this case, it took a tribe.

My daughter had a littleΒ not-so-little school project. She was to write her own Pacific Northwest Native American-style myth, with symbolism. Her symbol was the raven. Her myth was How the Raven Stole Straw.

In Pacific Northwest Native American culture, the raven is a creature of metamorphosis, and symbolizes change and transformation. Often honored among holy men of tribes for its shape-shifting qualities, the raven was often called upon in ritual so that visions could be clarified. Foremost, the raven is the Native American bearer of magic.

So far so good. Her myth was written. Part two of her project was to create a visual to accompany her myth.Β It was about 9:00 p.m. on a school night and this project was due. The. Next. Day.

We needed a little raven magic.

My daughter had visions of creating a Native American blanket. A blanket?? Dude. It’s 9:00 p.m.

“How about drawing a raven, sweetie?” When faced with a challenge, I sometimes try to find a quick solution. It was now 9:18 p.m.

But my daughter was determined to make a blanket. My husband jumped in, ready to help his daughter clarify and realize her vision. He’s great like that.

The three of us formed our own sewing pow wow. Cutting. Sewing. Gluing. Laughing.

I’m not sure what time it was when the final button was attached, but the raven spirit came through that night to transform a piece of felt into…an A.

I have heard people say parents shouldn’t help their children with homework. Whatever. Sometimes, I think, it requires teamwork and relying on the elders in the community. Sometimes, it takes a tribe.

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I’m linking up with the Yeah Write “moonshine” folks. Check them out!

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Comments (28)

THAT is a fabulous story. A great example of loving parents, a super cool kid with great vision, and ultimately a piece of art that anybody I know would proudly display in their home. Way to go, tribe! A+++!

Thank you. Things usually have a way of turning out. πŸ™‚

Thanks for writing!

This is fantastic! & it’s not like you did it for her, you guys were in it together. What a neat experience for her (& Mom & Dad!).

Yeah, it was a total tribal effort!


Wow! That is a gorgeous blanket! I bet she’ll never forget how her tribe rose to the occasion. . .

Oh man, that’s the BEST raven ever! Your daughter has it made!

Well, go big or go home, right? The blanket turned out awesome!

Thanks…yeah, I think the support was the the most important thing my daughter learned. πŸ™‚

I just hung it up on her wall, in fact!

Thanks for writing,

A little raven magic…


That’s right!

She was pretty proud…thanks!

Love that ya’ll worked together and what a beautiful raven!

I love it! Nothing wrong with working together on it – it’s not like you did it for her. I still have fond memories of working on school projects with my dad, and that’s what she’ll remember – the family time spent making this piece of art.

What an awesome blanket! I love your patience. At 9.18p the night before I can see myself being like, “Look, kid. Do an interpretive dance or something…”

Haha! That was really tempting!

Thanks for your comment,

That’s cool that you did school projects with your Dad. You’ll always remember that.

Thanks for writing!

Thanks! You would have done the same thing. πŸ™‚


Cool finished product. As a former teacher, your story reminded me why I tried to assign homework as little as possible. . . although it sounds like in your daughter’s case (w/ your and your husband’s help) turned out to be okay. . .

I understand the need for homework but honestly, as a parent, it’s just another thing I need to manage with my youngest two.

It’ll click one these days!

It turned out really beautifully.

Where we you when we had three hours to make a Rube Goldberg machine? We got a 50 and by we I mean my kid who never told me anything about it until the school bell rang.

Thank you!

It’s hanging up in my daughter’s room…until the next creation takes over. πŸ™‚

Yikes! When it comes to inventions and science projects, I think we’d be screwed.

Art projects are a little easier to fake. πŸ™‚

So cool. You started that at 9 p.m.? I’ll remember that image when I feel all hope and time is lost on a project. My little one once had to come dressed as a literary character. He was in kindergarten and loved this spider book. I don’t know why I found myself going up to Walmart at 7 p.m. and buying material and stuffing. No big deal. Eight hours and eight legs later I wondered what was I thinking? But he loved that spider outfit and wore it lots.

What an awesome story! I bet he rocked his spider outfit. What a COOL mom you are for helping your son go all out. πŸ™‚

Thanks for sharing!

That’s gorgeous!

Beautiful! Will you be selling prints?! (I’m kind of serious.)

Thanks! It’s crazy cool what you can do with felt and a few buttons. πŸ™‚


Hmmmm. Maybe a new revenue source for my 10yo?


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