Laura’s time and place had their own problems, naturally. And she didn’t have as many opportunities as kids today have. But she was tremendously fortunate to live in a time when both the family and the community mattered. Just as a kid with no family is a recipe for disaster, so is a family with no community. A family doesn’t exist merely to exist, or to keep the peace, or to “raise” itself into extinction by getting the kids off to college. It has to have a purpose as a family.
In the modern world, with the way our lives and our cities are designed, this is almost prohibitively difficult. It requires rejecting a lot of things that are considered normal, like signing everybody up for 47 individual activities and shuttling them there. But I think it’s worth a try.