I haven’t written on this blog in a looooooooooong time, you guys, and the fact that most of you are still visiting is humbling! And also maybe should make us all reassess how we’re spending our free time? But mainly just humbling.
I’ve been thinking about this specific post for months, actually, and have been trying to formulate it perfectly in my head. But usually when I spend this much time thinking about something and trying to make it perfect, I end up just not doing it or not loving it, and so I don’t do it, and then the overall point of the whole thing has been totally lost.
So, while not perfect, here goes.
We’ve all heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” But in my case, it takes a village, the village next door, the county in the next state, and a few random strangers.
Having a baby, as we’ve all heard or experienced, is life-changing. It turns your world upside down. If you’re lucky, it also helps you focus on the stuff that really matters because you’re too tired to focus on the rest. And, if I’m being honest, sometimes you’re too tired to focus on the stuff that really matters, too, which is why that damn village comes in so handy.
Over the last year, I’ve witnessed countless acts of selflessness, generosity, patience, and understanding. This village of mine stuck with me through the high highs and low lows of post-partum everything, were patient with me when I’m sure I sounded (and certainly looked) nuts, and understood (mostly) the moments when I just needed to figure it out on my own.
They sent food. Cards. Good vibes. Prayers. Amazon packages. Hand-me-downs. And love. They took my calls at all hours, returned my texts promptly with helpful tips and tricks that got me through sleep training or colic or going back to work or daycare or the first fever or the first tooth or the first plane ride or the hundredth “I seriously don’t know why she’s still crying.” They showed up at my door when I didn’t even know I needed them, and sometimes when I’d call them in a panic because I needed them RIGHT NOW. They gave up time with their own families, time to themselves, and time they didn’t really have, to help me figure out how to be a better mom and keep a level of sanity to get me through the day.
My work village made cupcakes and sent cards and flowers and adjusted my work schedule so that I could see my daughter when she woke up and pick her up at daycare before she fell asleep. They’ve ushered me out the door when I’d get the daycare call to pick her up NOW, they’ve rearranged schedules to accommodate my new, unpredictable one, and they’ve never said a word when I show up with someone else’s food/spit-up on me or my sweater on inside out.
Her daycare village has literally kept our family going. They love her like she’s their own and she loves them right back. She goes to them willingly, gives kisses, hugs, and waves as we say goodbye at the end of each day, and has even become bi-lingual, urging her dad and I to get it together and learn some Spanish so that we can communicate with her better as she grows! They ease my fears and they love my daughter. And they’re the reason I can leave each morning and go to work, knowing that she’s in great hands (and, let’s get real – better and more experience hands than both of her parents who know nothing and did this kid thing anyway!)
And CB – the center of this village – who doesn’t even realize how much he does to keep us moving forward each and every day. He got up as much as I did in those early days to feed her, rock her, soothe her back to sleep. He slept on an air mattress in her room so I could sleep through the night (snore-free) without worrying that she might stop breathing if someone wasn’t always watching her (see: post-partum reference above). He bathes her, feeds her, changes MOST of the grody-er diapers. He sings to her, dresses her, and sometimes even gets her socks to match her outfit! He’s the reason she squeals when she hears keys in the door and he’s the reason she’s the crazy daredevil who loves flinging herself onto and into absolutely everything that makes my heart stop oh-my-god.
I may be her mother, but this village is her family.
So, to put it quite simply...thank you.
(We made it through the first year, you guys! Keep up the good work!)