Until a few years ago, if you would have asked us how we fit it all in, we would have shrugged and said, “it’s really not that crazy.”
Even with five kids.
Because when they were all in the 0-8ish range, it really was fairly simple.
Our days were: morning routine, work, dinner at home around a big table, some playtime, bed. The occasional rec league sport or dance class thrown in somewhere. Rinse and repeat.
All seven of us, together for good periods of time.
As the age range slid up to 5-12ish, we’d likely now answer the same “how do you fit it in” question with, “we can’t” or “we’re not.”
And we’re not alone. And it’s not only because we have five kids.
Parenting is full. Full-time, full schedules, full chaos, full speed.
But it’s fully-amazing too, and this nutty season will be over before we know it. And we’ll likely want bits and pieces of it back.
As our kids have grown in their desire to play sports, attend youth groups, take on projects, build friendships and do activities, we’ve clearly not been able to be everywhere with every kid every time.
We’ve needed a village. More than that, we’ve needed our community.
The common saying is "it takes a village." To me, community runs deeper than a village. It speaks to a group of people that are in it together, not solely by geography but by purpose. By meaning. By investment.
A Monday – Thursday night for us now looks like: running in different directions, in different vehicles, with different kids.
Sometimes our own children are in our possession along with friends or family kids being shuttled around with us. Other times our kids are the ones being shuttled by a coach or a friend or a grandparent.
Divide, conquer, and rally around each other because all of us need the help.
It’s not perfect, but it’s working. And I think it’s teaching our kids that their life isn’t solely about themselves.
They’ve had to be OK with us both not attending every practice, performance or game. They’ve had to grow in their trust of others in their lives who are helping to pull this rope of raising them. They’ve had to let the truth sink in that it takes a community to form them.
Here in mid-America, the beautiful thing is the threads of community are woven deep into the fabric of this place.
At every turn the community is coming alongside of us. Cheering us on, helping us out, pushing us forward, reminding us that it's worth it.
And they’ll continue to support us, at least until our oldest turns 16. Then it’s her turn to grab the rope.