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Donuts, Coffee and the Wisdom of Daughters

Every Monday morning a local grocery store offers a Free Donuts and Coffee Event for seniors in their café.  Once a month the women in my neighborhood head over and catch up on “what’s happening”.

This past Monday just 4 of us met.  Two were Grandmothers and were eligible for the free goodies, and two were not.  Our common thread was that we were all Mother’s of Daughters – 10 daughters were represented.  The youngest daughter is 11 years old and the oldest daughter just had one of her sons get married this past summer.  Quite a span.

We shared what we were reading and I added to my list and mentioned my last book review.  We talked about what we were cooking these days and how we were preparing for each Holiday coming up.  One mother and father were taking their three daughters for the very first major family vacation – New Zealand, because her 22 year old twins are graduating from college this spring and it just seemed   a great adventure – the best thing to do.

All four of our houses are in a row; we also shared who could use the empty houses for extra beds and driveway space on our alley width street. And we shared our treats with each other, except one daughter was selling wreaths at her school and we already had those in place by the doors.  The shared cookies will come when all can participate and after the piano recital is completed.

We also discussed how some of the piano students refused to play Holiday Music this time of the year, because of their backgrounds and religious beliefs.  How to celebrate the diversity and accomplish the theory goals of the lessons?  If we could all sit around the table and embrace 4 diverse celebrations, why was it so hard for others?

We often have great conversations about how to solve the world problems.  This time I offered to share my Food, Inc DVD with them and we thought about good food to nourish our families.

We do not often come to any hard or fast conclusions, and we do get very involved with how we can be our best in the world and “good” mothers.

This time our little groups did draw some very fine conclusions about daughters.  We could all agree that for each of our children, 5th grade was such a wonderful year for them.  They were confident and respectful, they were starting to understand history, they just all seemed to love being alive, they were creative, they were not afraid, and their love was such a joy and just did not seem to have huge limitations or definitions.

They all thought that their Dads were the greatest and were their heroes.

They were enjoying the relationship they had with each of us.  (Well, I had one child who was embarrassed to have me drop her off at school, so I let her out a block away – even in the rain)

Yes, we could all agree without hesitation that 5th grade was a very good year for daughters.

The 2 Grandmother’s reassured us that some of that wonderful time comes back as their daughter’s children approach 5th grade.  We wish to believe this is true.

Why do you think 5th grade is such a good year for girls?  Maybe it is not?  When was your best year?
Do you get together with neighbors to figure out “what’s happening?”
Looking forward to your comments.

Other posts you might enjoy reading:
Dear World You Still Need Us Love Your Librarians
People are Often Unreasonable
Harvest Potluck UNICEF Fundraiser
Someone’s In the Kitchen With Patricia

18 Responses to “Donuts, Coffee and the Wisdom of Daughters”

  1. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Hi Patricia – What a lovely tradition! No, we don’t socialize much with our neighbors. On one side, we’ve got a young homeowner who maintains Party Central, with topsy-turvy nights that spill into days. Because they’re loud, I’m generally sleep-deprived. I’ve tried it all: white noise machine, calling the cops, earplugs, blah. In exchange, we tend to use our power tools early in the morning on “his” side. 😀

    On the other side we have a nice young man who rents out a bedroom to a roommate. We exchange pleasantries about yardwork primarily from time to time, but that’s about it.

    About the magical age: I often remark that if I could have hired Peter Pan to come to my house when my daughter was 4 and my son was six, I would have. Everything was right in their child-worlds, and I was the beneficiary of that magic. It was lovely. My daughter is 19 going on 20 now, and everything is going wonderfully in her world, too. I’m just less a part of it, as things things do go. :)
    .-= Betsy Wuebker´s last blog ..Soothing Scrubs – A Great Gift to Make or Keep for Yourself =-.

  2. Dot Says:

    Sounds like a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning! Not having children, I’ll just say that I love the ages 2-4. :-)
    .-= Dot´s last blog ..Comment on Inheriting by Jannie Funster =-.

  3. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    My oldest daughter is in 4th grade. She and her friends are struggling a bit with self-image (“am I pretty mom?”) and with social issues (being cool or uncool is a huge concern). They do seem happy though – happier than I expect them to be throughout their teens. But being a teen is hard on boys too – it’s just hard, I think.

    I am grateful for every day with her, every day she’s still “mine.” She hasn’t yet started to drift away from me – I figure I have about 2 more years until that happens.
    .-= vered | blogger for hire´s last blog ..Holidays in the 60s: Spam Spread, Foil and Scary Dips =-.

  4. Talon Says:

    That sounds so fun – I wish I could have joined you! I remember 8th Grade as being my best. I read a study about girls a few years ago that said that they are at their best at age of 12 – full of high self-esteem, sure of their goals and desires for the future and not yet distracted by hormones and boys. As the girls matured, there was a tendency to dummy themselves down when surrounded by boys and invariably their math and science grades went down and narrowed their career choices. They became distracted by physical appearance and were no longer as confident in who they were. Their self-esteems tended to dip very low. It depressed me, frankly. I can only imagine that in this day and age, the pressures are even greater even while the choices are greater, too. They did conclude that girls that were taught in boy-free classrooms excelled through the ages of 12-15 as opposed to those in mixed classes.

    Great post, Patricia. You’ve really got me thinking…
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..Life and Death in Aisle 26 =-.

  5. Patricia Says:

    I thought the kids were great when little too,but I had to add my vote to the confidence and joy that 5th grade girls seem to exude.

    I think it is that test if they are pretty, social understanding that brings up that confidence and happiness…being able to piece together history finally. One reason I home schooled for middle school is because the boys were so aggressive and the girls became so boy crazy and angry. My one child who went to middle school, gave up piano (she is a brilliant musician) and school work for her drive to be popular – an “mean” at 23 she is finally coming back to figuring out who she is.

    I loved the women’s college I went to and my 2nd daughter. My Oldest did High School in Denmark to get away from “stupid behaviors”.

    Yep those kids at toddler age are so cute….4 year old boys are so amazing…even up to age 6…

    Yes, it is changing these days and with hormones kicking in earlier and earlier and parents Sexualizing clothing for kids at such an early age. I think it is rather scary. My youngest became like a “bling” person – all surface and anger….and only now at 22-23 is she starting to take time to discover her self…
    I do not think the cell phones assist in self development.
    We have a whole generation of kids with no depth and proud of it…very scary.

  6. Kim Woodbridge Says:

    I don’t remember if I thought 5th grade was the best or not. I think I liked 7th better. I guess I’ll have to see what happens as my daughter gets older. She’s in 2nd now – I can say that her and her friends are really funny and seem so happy and excited about everything.
    .-= Kim Woodbridge´s last blog ..NextGEN Custom Fields Plugin: Add More Information about an Image in the NextGEN Gallery =-.

  7. Patricia Says:

    Let me know if you daughter has a great year in 5th Kim, I am glad to hear she has friends and happiness. I think it has something to do with as the ability to understand history and time and space matures and right before the hormone surges…but it is not an exact science :)

  8. J.D. Meier Says:

    I think it’s a great reminder of how our younger years can be full of puppy love, positivity, and curiosity. The people that I know that keep creating their best years, keep a zest for life and they have an endless well of curiosity.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..What 25 Holiday Classics Teach Us About Life and Fun =-.

  9. Patricia Says:

    I think you are rather spot on with this concept. It is just that when raising girls they seem to have such a “low self image” when the hormones kick in and they seem to have to fight their way out of it…which is rather disheartening to Mothers…and when we look back we just hope that they can reach back to those feelings of confidence and bloom forth into a full bouquet of a person.

  10. Tess The Bold Life Says:

    Can I come join your group…I qualify with the senior thing (55) and four daughters. I’ll tell you why 5th grade is the best. Because age 10 is magical. From 2-4 everything they say and do is cute. Then they get sassy. 10 if filled with innocence, sleepovers and joy. Oh the wonder of it all. Hard to believe only 6 years later they can’t stand the sight of a mother;) Lucky and blessed you for having these neighbors with girls!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Traveling By Train: Lessons On Going With Life’s Flow =-.

  11. Mark Says:

    You were having some interesting discussions. Fifth grade in many schools would be a year where one’s confidence is high because you have been in that school for five years and understand how it all works, your social circle is solidified and your emotional and physical changes have reached a point of some stability. When a child moves into sixth grade the child is more challenged as they prepare for middle school and some fear takes the place of confidence as changes begin to happen on many levels.
    .-= Mark´s last blog ..Sudden Death =-.

  12. Patricia Says:

    We could have up to 10 women at that gathering, but this past visit garnered only 4 – if all 10 women came we would only add 2 more daughters! There are only 2 granddaughters in the whole mix!
    We are rather a squeezed in 1 block – only alley width wide and it is such a wide range of people and very diverse…we are so fortunate that everyone gets along and enjoys each other’s company.
    We do celebrate daughters! Thanks for your good words

  13. Patricia Says:

    I think you are quite right on with your evaluation…I believe that Mother’s are so optimistic that those confident feelings will still be there as their happy children make so many changes. It was reassuring to hear from the Grandmother’s that they found the return of those good feelings were evident in their children.

    I think we wish to save our children from some of our same lessons being repeated…and repeated…

  14. Jannie Funster Says:

    You had me at “donuts,” on this one, Girl!

    5th Grade — we still have 2, or maybe 3 years until then, depending on whether she will stay in her private school or be in public school in Nova Scotia by then.

    I imagine it’s the child’s age, 11 years, right? A stable time with friendships well established and puberty still around a corner or two (for most.)

    I used to get with the neighbors years ago, but so many moved away, new homes were built , and new ones moved in. Things are quite different here now. Plus most of Kelly’s school chums live outside our area.

    So I blog. And this is a very very fun neighborhood. :)
    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Kelp Bikinis & Squirrels With Waivers?!? =-.

  15. Patricia Says:

    We do have a lovely blogging community…I am lucky with our nice block of neighbors…

    I am having a house warming party for our newest Neighbor in January…Her first house…and her gardening and care to the old house is such a joy to behold…I want everyone else around to know her and her dog Brody too!

  16. Patricia Says:

    Have you seen Phoebe in Wonderland a delightful movie about being 10 years old with some surprising moments of clarity
    Movie stars Felicity Huffman and Elle Fanning..

    Fine navigation through the tough parts of being this age and with having trouble figuring out how to be…

  17. Davina Says:

    Hi Patricia.
    Your “visit” is a nice way to spend a Monday morning; good way to practice listening skills and storytelling. The standout year for me was my first year of college. For most of my schooling I was very shy, but once I hit those college years I came right out of my shell.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Night Before Christmas — Rewritten =-.

  18. Patricia Says:

    I was rather a wall flower, except in choir and singing groups…I rather disappeared at school…I would have to agree that I opened up in college and grad. school especially….but I could see the confidence in my own children about age 10-11 even if they were quiet at school…
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..Getting Things All Wrapped Up =-.