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Challenge: Finding Your Village

My Overlooked Village

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“It takes a village to raise a child” is something we hear a lot and it’s a topic I often write about. I am a big believer in having a supportive community to help nurture you along your parenting journey. I was thinking about it the other day in fact. How many people touch our lives in different ways helping to shape our children. It’s not only the friends and family we choose to surround ourselves with but it’s the teachers, coaches, doctors and other outside influences that we sometimes overlook along the way. Truthfully, this is something I think I've overlooked in the last several years.

I realized this as my youngest recently started Pre-K. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a child just starting out in school and I guess I took for granted my older son’s experience. Drop off used to be leaving the older one at the entrance to the school yard where he could navigate the process alone while I chatted with the other moms or went straight to work. With the little guy, you have to wait until the teacher comes out to gather her flock of littles. My little happens to like to turn on the waterworks at drop off - he’s a bit of a drama kid - his teacher is such a wonderful, nurturing woman that she immediately takes him in her arms and soothes him as they go into the school building. She’s quick to let me know he’s okay and to tell me it doesn’t even last a minute (yeah, I know...drama kid). I appreciate her kindness toward him and her genuine love for the children we have placed in her care. She’s part of my village and she probably doesn’t even know it!

My older son is having a different experience in his life right now - multiple teachers throughout his busy day and multiple coaches and instructors for his sports and music lessons. We have more advanced conversations around his learning new subjects, new “skills” (it’s a thing) on the field and techniques for his drumming. What would we do without these special people in our lives? The ones who help shape our children’s character? The ones who help teach them strength and persistence? I honestly have no idea and I’m thankful I’ll never have to find out.

Each person that touches my children’s lives is part of our village. We've learned something new from all of them. Friends and family give our children comfort, familiarity, love and security. Teachers and coaches challenge their brains and bodies to push their limits and expand their knowledge. We as parents nurture, discipline and guide them as best we know how. I for one am beyond grateful for the village we have amassed for our family. So thanks village - we couldn't do it without you!!

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