Who Is In Your Village?
We are so lucky. While we have no family in this part of the country, we are surrounded by lots of friends. Helpful, babysitting, diaper-changing friends.
And as the famous saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.
Having said that, we have tried to balance the kindness of our friends and their needs as well as our own. Did our childless friends really want my baby punted onto their hips the minute I walk into the door? Did my friends who were already weary from their own children want to play with mine just because I needed a break?
As our extended family of friends have children of their own, it has been interesting to watch how their villages take shape. To listen to the frustrations and misunderstandings among friends when the needs are not met, on both sides. And how everyone tries to balance their relationships with kids and their relationships without kids.
In our case, we have two best friends (coincidentally married to each other) who have really been a second set of parents to Declan. When we go on vacation together, we have the luxury of 4 to 1 ratios… which is pretty good odds when it comes to keeping track of, not to mention entertaining, a child.
But that doesn’t mean that even they, the people that Declan would leave us in the dust for, would want us to ignore our adult relationship for our Family of Five. At about age 2, we had a heart to heart, where they asked for more “adult time.”? We listened, we worked at it, and we came out even better friends for it. (And they were understanding that it’s sometimes hard to find adult time when you have a 2 year old!)
But then, these same people are absolutely my go-to when I do need a break. And now that he is 5, it’s almost a unspoken rhythm between us. In the chaos of a party, I will look over and see my friend helping Declan with his shoe. Unasked, unbidden, she just… helps.
I appreciate each and every shoe.
Who helps tie your shoes?
More of Aimee’s writings can be found at her blog, Greeblemonkey.