“It takes a village to raise a child”
As a young mother, I remember hearing that old proverb and thinking, “maybe it used to take a village but not now. I have everything I need at my fingertips, doctors on speed dial, parenting advice on Facebook (ha!) and answers to all our potty training dilemma’s on Google. What do I need a village for?”
In general I’m content to be on my own, I crave the silence of solitude and when given a choice I will avoid/bail on any & all large group activities. In reality if I HAVE to attend something that has 5+ new people I have to battle the urge to flee. Corey has, on more than one occasion had to hold my hand and gently tug me into a room reminding me that he’s “right there” and it will be OK.
Now if you know me this may have just completely blown your mind. I mean this from the girl who can talk the ears off an elephant but it’s true. You see, that girl only comes out when she feels safe, and even at that my time with groups of people is limited. My tank will run dry and I need my space to once again “refresh”.
Pair that with my incredible need to be self sufficient and you can see why I felt I really didn’t need a village. Women can be mean, mommies can be scary (do not, I repeat DO NOT poke the Mama Bear. Especially THIS Mama Bear) and I was far too independent to need anyone else’s help in raising my children.
Or so I thought.
I’m not really sure when it happened or how but by the end of Bethany’s Kindergarten year I had met a group of beautiful women who very quickly have become some of my dearest friends. I spent years petrified of what life would be like surrounded by a group of women (high school “girl groups” left me with a tainted and unrealistic view of female friendship), and what I’ve discovered is the incredible love & power we, together bring to life.
Over the past 4 years as the bonds between us grew, so did those of our children, in fact I think it was their friendships that put us together in the first place. They are this unique blend of little people who fit so well together. They just simply work, floating and rearranging themselves in clusters of fun (and sometimes mischief) these kids are truly incredible.
This past year as we have faced so many changes in life, work, and health challenges I’ve never been more thankful for the village of women I’ve been given. Not only for me, but for my children as well.
When Audrey ended up in hospital a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t make it to the school to get Bethany I knew I had back up. Though my heart ached to be with my other little girl, I was confident she’d be taken care of and loved until Corey could get home to get her. A few quick texts and that’s exactly what happened. Not only was she picked up from school but she had “the BEST DAY EVER” hanging out with a few of her friends and I was given the gift of leaning into my friends.
As the weekend pushed on I was overwhelmed and blessed by text messages of thoughts, offers of help and encouragement. I knew these women were wonderful before but in the midst of another bout of uncertainty their love really drove home my blessings in each of them, at time to point of tears.
Asking for help isn’t something I do very well. In reality for me, asking for anything makes me feel physically ill. I want to do it on my own, I feel as though I’m SUPPOSED to do it on my own and when I can’t I’m left feeling weak. I selfishly would rather be the one doing the helping rather than the one asking for it.
Over the years these ladies have taught me so much, about life, about friendship and about learning to let others help you back. They’ve shown me that friendship, the real kind of friendship is a balance of give and take.
To my beautiful, amazing, incredible friends (who are NOT at all part of a Mommy Mafia….just to be clear)(inside outside joke)(but we AREN’T)
I love you. I am better for knowing you, for the lessons you taught, the vulnerability you’ve shared and for the family we’ve created. Your children are amazing little people whom I love as deeply as I love my own girls. Our special little group was created for each other, designed & built to grow together on this crazy life road. When I look at them I’m filled with hope, for who they are and who they’re going to become.
Thank you for the laughter, the friendship, and for holding me up in the moments I didn’t think I could stay standing. Thank you for joining me on my journey through life & letting me walk with you on yours.
You are incredible women and I’m so thankful that you are each the blessing branches on my tree of life.
Don’t be afraid of building your village dear readers, they are God’s daily reminder of His love & faithfulness in the people who join you as you travel through life.