Cheverly Day: Musings on Community


Children are not designed, by nature, to attach just to the mother, or just to the mother and father. They are, for good biological reasons, designed to form multiple attachments, to many of the people in a community.  It is important to recognize here that the private nuclear family, living in a house apart from others in the community, is, from an evolutionary perspective, an unnatural environment. Throughout most of human history, prior to the development of agriculture, people lived not in houses but in what are best described as camps.  The basic social unit was the band, which consisted typically of about 20 to 50 people who cooperated with one another and who moved from campsite to campsite as needed to follow the available game and edible vegetation.  At each campsite they built small, temporary huts to sleep in, all clustered together.  Except when they were asleep, people spent their time outdoors with all of the other band members.  Marriages existed, and children had special relationships with their parents, but parents did not “own” their children in the way that people in our culture think of parents as owning their children.  In many ways, the children were children of the entire band.  Everyone took part in every child’s care.  Everyone developed some kind of relationship with every child; and children, even babies, were active partners in forming those relationships.

We lost my soon to be 7 year old on Cheverly Day. Lost is probably a strong word here because we live in Cheverly. Cheverly is the type of community where kids can ride bikes around town without their parents and where my boys can run around Legion Park with all of their friends while I talk to mine. When I couldn’t locate my son at the end of the Cheverly Day Parade I thought to myself, “Someone will find him!” My boys are blessed. They are loved and cared for and KNOWN by most of the town. They are “free range” for the mere fact that they live in Cheverly. I’d encourage all my readers to take 5 min to read the article that I linked to above. It’s fascinating. If you live in Cheverly, you and your children have the opportunity to form multiple attachments. AWESOME!

I should also share (while I’m on the topic of community) that the kids of Cheverly LOVE Cheverly. They take pride in their community. My sweet friend’s daughter made this sign to march in the parade:


And I heard from many other parents this weekend about their children’s love for our neighborhood. Here’s one:

“Mom, I hugged a tree because I wanted to tell Cheverly I love you for its birthday.”

Amen. Happy Birthday to a great town with a great community. I will have lots to post this week concerning Cheverly Day. 🙂 If you haven’t seen the pictures I took at the parade, please click this link:

PS: please comment and tell me your own thoughts about the community in Cheverly

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Susie Barb says:

    okay here it comes…..I grew up here in Cheverly….in fact my parents have owned a home here for 56 years. I recently renovated their home and moved back after 42 years. We have a FB page “I grew up in Cheverly in the 70’s” of which we have 700 active members and we have reunions 2 times a year at the Legion (thanks to social media) We feel ya….and trust me when I say if your not from here or currently live here then you just don’t get it. Your age group seems to be the “New ,Old Us” and I for one appreciate the “Comeback of Cheverly” … for lots of reason’s. What you all don’t have is the history …. we are the history, our parents are the history and our grandparents. Believe me when I tell you there is a lot more fabric to Cheverly…there are famous names, historical homes that once were revered as some of the finest in the area. Did you know there is a home here from the 1700’s before we were even a country? There is so much to tell here and a mere comment will not do justice. I can tell you I love Cheverly always have always will….I have retired now and have chosen Cheverly is spite of my family and friends dislike …. but my love for this little community is so vibrant I cannot imagine living anywhere else. It’s my history and to tell ya the truth there are a lot of me here…we come back 🙂

    1. lisawink2014 says:

      This is awesome Susie! I’m so glad you shared. You need to write a guest post for me! xoxo

      1. Susie Barb says:

        I would be delighted too …. I walk past your house most days and frankly was unaware of your FB page and your musings. I believe I have photographed your home on numerous occasions for our “70’s” page. I frequently take pics for those that live out of state when they want to see what the “ole homestead” looks like. I’ll send you a pm on the FB page with my information. I really have enjoyed your postings about Cheverly and some of the other younger parents comments. It makes the move back even sweeter. 🙂

  2. Michael Kerley says:

    Love your post. My family lived in Cheverly from 1952-1992. Our father was Mayor from 1979 to 1974. He and my uncle built two houses there. I have much more to add, if you’d like. Thanks again.

    1. lisawink says:

      That’s amazing! I’d love to hear more or if you’d like to write a post, please do!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s