They say it takes a village to raise a child.
Was that village up with me every night for the first of each of their lives? Was the village there when they were throwing up or running a fever? Was the village there for potty training or the day my daughter spilled every spice out of every spice jar into one pile behind the recliner in the living room?
In a way, yes, they were.
That village…our family, our friends, my Facebook list, blog readers, neighbors…they were there in their own way. Whether praying for us or with us, babysitting or looking the other way when we were a mess and exhausted–they were there.
Every year, I make a video of our pictures from the previous year. I include a link with our Christmas cards, but the video is rarely for the recipients. It’s for me. I just let everyone else see it. This is the video from this year:
This year, as I put it together, I realized how many people are in our village. There are so many people who are there when my kids need them, or just want them. They were there making sure each birthday was appropriate celebrated, each rock was skipped in to the water–not just thrown, each bon fire had marshmallows, each hook had a worm and each plate was fill, nose wiped and shoes tied.
Most of them are people I wouldn’t have necessarily guessed would be so involved. It wasn’t always family or someone nearby. They didn’t have to be there, they wanted to be. They jumped into lakes that were too cold. They played countless mind-numbing kids games. They filled the holes of our parenting with enthusiasm and made themselves into examples of the need for good friends and a strong family.
Jacob and I are never going to be perfect parents and that’s okay.
We have surrounded ourselves with good people–people who love us, our kids and want to make sure that their lives are full. They will forever know that they can go to those people if they want to play endless rounds of Minion Life, or if they need help.
We are so blessed to know that any one of these people will give an extra hug, provide a little extra cheerleading or just be a safe, quiet place when the waters get rough and we aren’t available.
As 2015 comes to a close, I thank everyone who is in our village. In 2016, I hope I can be part of your village. I hope I’m there when you need me, even if it doesn’t seem evident to me. I hope I can provide you the peace and love that you need when you need it.
Happy New Year!