Making room for families
May 16, 2017
By Marion Taylor - with input from Glen and their kids
The world this week celebrated the International Day of Families. According to the United Nations, this year’s observance focused “on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members.” It seems appropriate, then, to share this story.
Wycliffe College has always made room for families, and I’m glad it made room for mine.
Shortly after coming to Wycliffe as Old Testament Professor in 1986, my then new husband Glen (also an Old Testament Professor) was offered the role of Dean of Residence, a position held at that time by a College faculty member for the purpose of mentoring resident theologs. The chance to live and work together at Wycliffe appealed to us for more than one reason; doing so would make it possible for us to start our family.
And so, we took up residence in the Dean’s apartment from 1987 to 2001, and raised our three children here: David, Catherine, and Peter.
I remember bringing a baby monitor to faculty meetings, nursing infants during lecture breaks, and having ready access to capable and enthusiastic babysitters.
Living at Wycliffe was a great experience for all of us. Our three sensed that students loved having children in their orbit. “It felt like we had the biggest extended family ever,” remembers Catherine, “except the family would change every year as new residents moved in and others moved out.”
David agrees. “I loved having lots of older 'brothers' around to play with (and who had to be nice to me),” he says. Interestingly, he says he still connects “most easily with people who are at least a few years older.”
The physical property made for a vast playground. Spacious rooms with high ceilings and Victorian window framing contributed to the feeling of “living in a castle,” says Catherine, while her older brother has “fun memories of exploring all the nooks and crannies.”
“These memories likely fed my teenaged enthusiasm for urban exploration,” David remembers.
Back then, as now, Wycliffe’s administration was extraordinarily receptive to family dynamics. That is as it should be; Scripture teaches us that families were God’s idea. And while there are almost as many ways to grow a family as there are families themselves, I’m grateful we were given the opportunity to raise our family here.
The Taylor family is pictured in earlier days in the photo above from left, Peter, Marion, Catherine, David and Glen.