A junior in college, I spend a weekend at a friend’s house and fall in love with her large, loud, nutty family. This is a different experience for me; growing up an only child (and out in the country), my home life had always been quiet and somewhat solitary. During that weekend with Becca’s family, I laughed loudly and constantly.
This is when I first realize that I want a village, a tribe, a large group of people to belong to.
I marry another only child. Since we each enter the marriage with more of a settlement than a village, we figure we will make our tribe. Plan B.
For me, pregnancy isn’t obtained - or kept - easily. I may not be able to make our village after all. I keep moving forward. Still Plan B.
Our son is born. I am determined to assemble this village, but with aging, distant parents on both sides, I realize the villagers will likely be made of our close friends and neighbors. Plan C.
My marriage explodes. I need a village more than ever, and help is hard to come by.
When I am disappointed and hurt that my requests for support are not met to my expectations, I realize that, like me, my loved ones are busy with their own lives and responsibilities. They are as present as they can be.
My plan shifts again, and I create a 'village' of resources to support me so I can be the best mother possible. My village consists of books, blogs, podcasts, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday…and any other feel-good source of encouragement I can find. Plan D.
I look up and realize…I have a village.
My son and I are thriving because of the caring, positive presence of several people in our lives. These new villagers are family, but of the non-DNA-sharing variety. They are somewhat unlikely villagers, consisting of my ex-husband’s new wife, her daughter, my boyfriend and his son.
My son has a big, loving, non-traditional family. Each person has a different role in his life, and he knows who he can turn to when he wants to wrestle, or read a book, or make origami animals.
In the village, we are rejoicing. Plan V.
V for ‘village’.
V for ‘victory’.