These are some of my people - some of my people in my village doing this thing called life and parenting at the same time as me.
It takes a village. I've had that thought a lot lately.
When I start to think about all the things I want for my children: the things I hope they do and see; the things I want them to learn - I know that there is no way my husband and I will be able to do all of it in one lifetime.
I can't tell you all the times I have felt like an utter failure as a parent when my children need guidance on something or ask a question and I just don't have the answer. I can't count the days that I have just not been 100% the best parent I can be. I mean, I am not trying to be all Debbie Downer here - it's just reality. We can't be all the things all the time.
It takes a village.
I've thought this lately because it seems our life has been so busy this summer. The last few weeks have been jam packed with ball games, vacations, play dates, family birthdays, holidays.... you name it. All of this plus two parents holding down full time jobs outside of the home makes for crazed parenting moments. I know I fail daily. I know I don't give that 100% every day when I know they need it.
But - in this beautiful mess of life - there are others filling in my gaps.
It truly takes a village to raise a child.
My husband and I are quite the independent couple. We don't like to ask for help - we don't ever want to impose on anyone. This is just in our nature. But, we have both learned the hard way that we sincerely cannot do it all. Now, this doesn't mean we get a pass to push things on others to teach our children - but it does mean we can give ourselves some grace. Grace in parenting? Blasphemy. I know that's what you're thinking. I thought the same thing. I thought - if I can't be and do everything for my children - then I must simply be a bad parent. But see - what we were blessed to learn is that where we need help, there is a beautiful community of people who also want to invest their time and attention into our children.
I look back over my own life and I know my parents did so much for me. I appreciate all the things they sacrificed and did to put me in the place that I am now. But, there were others in my life who had a great influence, and it has made me realize that it is not only my parents, but all the people I had in life that supported me, loved me, cared for me, and taught me that also have some contribution to the person I am today.
My daughter started playing soccer in the spring. Last year she tried softball. Much to my chagrin - she did not care for it. The one sport I really know - the one I spent 16 years playing on multiple teams.... the one sport I had high hopes for a daughter who would fall in love with a ball and a glove - said it was too hot and boring. She hated it! But she has loved soccer. Neither my husband nor I have any clue about soccer! So guess what - we call in the village. We let others guide her and teach her what she needs to know, and while it makes me sad that this wasn't my game of choice - its been so fun to watch her thrive and enjoy a game!
If it wasn't for my village - it wouldn't have happened.
Along the way it'll be coaches, teachers, friends, counselors, other kid's parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles - there's always going to be other people there to pick up where I lack. The places that I can't be. The things that I can't do. The things I'm not so good at doing-they're going to be the ones there to fill in those gaps.
As I have worked and been in management positions, I've had conversations on how you want to take certain "tools" (traits) from people that you've met, or other managers you have worked for and put those tools in your own toolbox to use at different times throughout your career. And while anyone who has worked with me will know I hate those cliche sayings like - "the door is always open" - because, really guys, no one's door is always open - who would ever get any work done? This toolbox analogy is the one that rings most true for my life. My children will take things from all of these people; pieces of these people that they will be influenced by and use those things in their life. They will reference those people, they will reference those lessons they were told, and they will remember these things. They will remember the people that invest time into them.
It takes a village.