Over the weekend I was visiting with my grandmother while the girls were running around doing their thing. It was just a casual conversation about how busy we all have been and what the girls have been doing over summer break. I do not remember exactly what was said, but at some point, I must have said, “It takes a village,” probably referring to work and who has been watching the girls while I am doing so.
Emerson popped over and quickly informed me and my grandmother that we do not live in a village and technically she may be right, but I definitely have one.
My village was carefully chosen and is made up of family members, friends, teachers, counselors, coaches, mentors and a few cool moms on this Facebook group whom I have never even met. But nonetheless they each play an important role in my life and my girl’s lives, as well. They each bring their own set of values, morals, insight and even a few unwarranted opinions sometimes. They are all willing to step up to ensure that my children are safe, healthy, loved and heard.
When I have to work or when someone gets sick or when I cannot understand third grade math, I know I have someone to call if I ever need to.
While having a village is helpful when you are in a tough spot, it is more about the love that is shared. Having a village means more people to love your children and more people for your children to love.
I am not one of those moms who get upset when my kid has been hanging out with her grandmother all day and when I get there to pick them up, they do not want to leave. It actually makes me feel really good to know they love her as much as I do. Honestly, I don’t want to leave either – home cooked meal, a comfy couch and Law & Order reruns? I’ll stay here all day!
I think the hardest part of having a village was getting used to the idea of someone besides me reprimanding my kids. Whew, that one was a tough one, but it is important for your kids to be corrected by other adults that you trust when they need to be corrected. Better to experience it now versus at school for the first time or at a future job down the road. I may still side-eye you while you’re doing it, but that is just a reflex. I am working on it.
Having a village gives your children a chance to learn different skills and ways of thinking, but it also teaches them how to exist and contribute to a community. See, the village is not just about having others to help your children, but also about teaching your children to help the village.
The great thing is, they know they can count on me just as much as I count on them.
I am blessed with the best village… they are a little crazy, but they are mine.
(Paige Nash is a wife, mother, publisher of Bienville Parish Journal and Claiborne Parish Journal and a digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal and who lives in the best village.)