I love the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In my experience this is so true. And my village has changed over the years as my children have grown. When they were little, my village consisted of that guy I stalked when I saw him out my window taking a walk in the rain with a little baby in a front carrier and umbrella over their head. Feeling lonely and trapped in my house with my own newborn, I grabbed my umbrella and baby and followed this guy to his house, knocked on his door and introduced myself, “Hi, I’m Trista. I noticed we have babies about the same age.” What I really meant was, “I’m so lonely and need some new parent friends!”
My parents have always been an important part of my village. At around the same time I was stalking strangers with babies, I was having a little meltdown one evening. My stepmom called to see how I was doing and I burst into tears, “Not very well.” She and my dad came over, STAT, with mashed potatoes that we ate right out of the pot.
I once called my mom in a panic after my 3-year-old son’s penis got stuck in the zipper of his footie pajamas. It was quite traumatic! She sent me flowers after telling the florist the whole story.
And the lady across the street who came over to tell me that she noticed my 2 year old, who I thought was napping, making a hole in his upstairs window screen. He later explained that his dinosaur was hungry and liked to eat screens. Well of course!
As my boys have grown into teenagers I have an expanded village. My friends and neighbors who give my wayward children rides to school when they miss the bus. The neighbors who have a spare key for when one of us is locked out of our house.
My sister-in-law who has raised a teenage son and who I go to with questions like, “Did he ever….? What did you do when…..?”
My nephew and his fiancé who take my boys to do all of the stuff I hate doing like going to the state fair and corn mazes. Just think of what my boys would have missed out on with out these two!
And so many more, the crossing guard, dojo sensei, aunts, uncles, cousins, coaches, tutors and teachers. I have learned that it’s okay to ask for help, and the occasional pot of mashed potatoes. I am so appreciative for my village people. I couldn’t do this parenting thing alone.