The Parents Group by
(305 Stories)

Prompted By Community

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When our son was born in New York Hospital I was asked if we’d like to attend The First Year of Life,  a series of quarterly lectures by Lee Salk,  the renown child psychologist.  Of course we signed up and over the following year we attended four wonderful lectures held in a hospital meeting room.

Most of the others in the room were first-time parents like us,  all eager to learn how to navigate in our new roles.   Dr Salk was kind and informative, took time to answer our questions, and imbued us with some needed confidence.  At the end of the final session – now all parents of one-year-olds  –  we thanked  our lecturer and were filing out of the room when someone held up a sheet of paper.    “If you’d like to stay in touch”,  he called out,  “give me your name and we can continue to meet.”

Six or seven couples did,  including us, and in fact Danny and I offered  to host those parents and their one-year-olds in our apartment.  That was  the first meeting of what we came to call our “parents group”.

After that we continued to meet with our kids in each others’ homes,  in parks and playgrounds,  at restaurants and theaters,  and during one memorable summer at a rented beach house.  Over the years some families moved or dropped out,  but four couples remained and we became a close-knit group  – Janet & Les (the guy who held up that piece of paper almost 50 years ago),  Janet & Harold,  Lorraine & Eric,  and me & Danny.

Then all too quickly the years passed and our kids got older and went their separate ways,  but we adults continued to meet for dinners.  And then more time passed,  and a heart attack took one of us way too soon,  and memory loss has sidelined another,  and our  “parents group”  is sadly diminished,

But we’ll always have our memories of the joyous times we shared and the golden friendships we made in that wonderful community of eager young parents and their kids.

– Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Parenting, Dr Lee Salk


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    What a lovely way to find a community, Dana. It’s amazing that your group stayed connected down through the years, even diminished as it now is. I know of other friends who are still connected through their kids’ “parent’s groups” (not started in the hospital like yours, but more informally, as play groups for their little ones). Those are amazingly strong relationships down through the years.

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    What a great idea to stay connected for as long as you did. Raising kids is a difficult and sometimes lonely journey. I am thankful for my friends from back then because I truly got by “with a little help from my friends.”

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