Cliché you may say, that infamous African proverb,“It takes a whole village to raise a child.” Do I agree? Somedays. Do I disagree? Somedays. It’s one of those sayings that can cause some big dramatic uproar on the parenting front, and I’m not here to chat the ins and outs. Everyone interprets this proverb differently, and yes I do have my own opinions, but what it comes down to today is that I am thankful.
Quite frankly, I don’t know how anyone parents without the support of someone. Somebody. Without the pats on the back, hugs, words of encouragement, words of wisdom, shoulder to cry on, a helping hand, a friendly librarian reading to your child for 5 min so you can use the restroom. No clue. Parenting is glorious and hellacious , and maybe even both of these in the same hour.
I consider my village all of those who help expose my daughters to the multiple facets of life, as well as those who help me maintain my sanity. No, it’s NOT just about my kids. Its about me too. I need that same village, and for that reason I consider so many people and places as intricate parts of my budding village (note fellow contributor Megan’s post in April titled It Takes a Village). Yes, I even consider our cat part of my village, especially on the mornings he provides his furry tail as a leash for my children as they lead him around the house. He makes them happy and teaches them to be gentle, he is part of my village.
So, in the spirit of thankfulness, because apparently we Americans like to ‘overdo’ the thankfulness posts in November (umm, that could be another blog post in itself) Im going to give you my top 25 reasons I am thankful for my village. These are simple, real, and candid reasons for my thankfulness – listed in no particular order, and therefore not even numbered.
I am thankful because my village…
Makes me feel comfortable in my mommy-skin.
Does not judge me when I haven’t had 8 consecutive hours of sleep in nearly 4 years and my hair is in a permanent messy bun.
Chases after my one of kids at the park while I am busy changing the diaper of the other.
Offers to deliver me a coffee at noon, to my doorstep, just because.
Cares less if my girls destroy their playroom. Over and over.
Takes my girls for overnights, feeds them, loves them, bathes them.
Teaches my children the love for a variety of phrases and languages – (insert “Ciao”, “fugetaboutit”, “no toques.”).
Treats me like a sister wife, minus the shared husband.
Volunteers to wipe the snot off my toddlers nose, hug my 3 yr old, and hold their hands when crossing the parking lot.
Feeds their kids 2 consecutive days of non-green foods, and thus doesn’t gasp when I do the same.
Thinks paradise is also a day of pajamas, blankets, crafts, and breakfast for dinner.
Acts as an emergency contact for my children, eventhough they don’t have the right number of car seats to transport my children and theirs.
Holds my daughter when she is anxious about leaving mommy for two hours during Cubbies.
Encourages me to get up at the crack of dawn to hit boot camp, while also encouraging me to sleep in and rejuvenate.
Tells me that it’s ok – to slow down – to take the ticking clock off of my neck and soak in the moments (check out this village member … an author I have never met – her book Hands Free Life is awesome).
Reminds me that marriage is not perfect, and that I am not perfect either.
Hugs me whether or not I think I need one.
Instructs my girls in the basic foundations about God.
Listens to me ramble about some random fact or sale item I found at Aldi, even if they could care less.
Sends a text that the Dunkin Donuts app now has new coupons for my enjoyment.
Watches my girls so I can escape to the gym and not put them in the ‘unpredictable’ nursery.
Assures me I am doing a good job, even when I feel like I have failed horribly.
Supports my endeavors, my crazy ideas, my multiple career paths and my love for day old coffee.
Patiently listens to the birth stories of my girls, my obsession with how I met my husband, and my love for flip flops – over and over.
Comments on how much of a helper my daughter was to the new girl at ballet.
Hands down the clothes of past so my girls can enjoy them in the present.
Maintains traditions, so my girls can experience family culture and history.
Ok. That’s 27. But Im not deleting any of them.
So many times I overlook these simple, and yet impactful, ways these multiple hands, hearts, and minds have affected my daily life.
For them I am grateful AND thankful.
Have you thanked your village lately? What are you most thankful for?