Family togetherness, even while working, helps Amish strengthen faith, bonds
Our take: The Amish community is known for being private and close-knit. Many have a very strong ties to their faith, but even those who decide to leave their Amish faith remember that the strong bonds that were forged in childhood and the closeness of their family members came from being able to spend time working and playing and doing other activities with each other.
Few would disagree that an Amish childhood is a special one. The best of all, perhaps. Secure, safe, enveloped in family and meaningful traditions. Even those who have left the church reflect on their childhood with fond, wistful memories. Raised in rural settings, Amish children have remarkable freedom the run of the farm with very little supervision (or so they think!) with time to play, to explore, to be kids. We werent plugged into a TV or an iPod, said one Amish farmer in Ohio. We relied on our imaginations.
I asked my Amish or formerly Amish friends this question: What made your childhood so special?
Here are some responses to that question, in their own words:
The amount of quality time a family spends together. I was one of thirteen kids. My family had a dairy of sixty cows, and we milked them all by hand, twice a day. I remember being only three or four years old and having the job of holding the cows manure-caked tail so it wouldnt hit my dads face as he milked. We would sing songs while we milked gospel songs, all kinds of songs in the quiet of that barn. Mose Gingerich, raised in an Old Order Amish family in Wisconsin.
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