Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our village

This past weekend, I had one of those not-so-proud parenting days. Sunday, we were helping support a luncheon at church, and shortly before it started, we realized that we had not planned for what to do with our kiddos. It wasn't a catastrophe, but it is unusual that we don't have everything planned out...with 6 kids, you really need to have a knack for logistics. John and I had a moment where we looked at each other Sunday morning and thought, "oh crap." A few moments later, we mentioned our oversight to one of our friends, who volunteered to add our kids to the "daddy day care" that had been planned while we were hosting the luncheon. We had 4/6 of our kids, and after a brief call to confirm, we walked them over to spend the next few hours with two amazingly accommodating friends. As we walked back to the event, we felt terrible...we had basically just invited our kids over to our friend's house and dropped them off on a moment's notice.

During the luncheon, we were prompted to share with the others at our tables something that we are grateful for. When I thought about it, in that moment, I realized that I haven't really had a support network quite like this before, friends who are not just my friends, but who have our back, friends who would welcome our crew into their fold without question - even better, with a smile. And so, that evening, when our teenager's ride from youth group to a birthday party fell through, these same friends took her home to wait for us to shuttle her between social engagements, and sent her off to us with dinner to go.

This is new, this feeling of community. Here we are, on the west coast with no extended family to lean
Not bad for a village ;)
on, with a big herd of kids and both of us working full time. We are busy, BUSY, but we do well with figuring out schedules and making sure that everyone can make it to writing club and soccer and play practice and we can still eat dinner together as a family every night. There have been more than a few days that I wonder how we do it, but in general, we work together as a team and get stuff done. Yes, it sometimes takes weeks to get to a minor home improvement, and no, our house is not spotless. But everyone is clean, fed and happy, and we have, by and large, done it on our own.

This weekend showed me that we don't have to do it on our own, that it's not a failure to lean on our friends, just as we have always welcomed others leaning on us. In fact, it's great to have our kids know that there is a network of loving adults who all think they are awesome and on whom our kids can depend if needed. It is amazing to see how, in just over a year, we have started to create a new village, an extended family of choice, that we can turn to on our not-so-proud parenting days and who can depend on us right back.

We have a west coast village now, with elders and parents and kiddos and it is wonderful. In November, this month of gratitude, I am so grateful for our village and for this feeling of knowing we are not alone. 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful, Koreen! Thanks for sharing your experience, and so glad to hear that you have such a good community that you're weaving into. And it was great to see John and Zevon in West Chester the other week -- such a nice surprise! We (I) miss you all.