It Takes a Village
My neighbors were quick to offer a cradle when we told them we were expecting. They had used it for their now grown children. It has been loaned to over a dozen families for the first months of many lives. My husband and I are next in line. These same neighbors also offered the gift of cooking food for us for two weeks after the baby is born. We do not look at their generosity as a gift horse.
We have been extremely lucky in our pregnancy that not only our immediate neighbors but the community we have surrounded ourselves with in the last two years since moving to Colorado have embraced us and the life we are bringing into this world. These people are our village. It is not always easy to find a Colorado native in this landscape, so it seems many of us are without immediate family in this state. And for whatever reason the people that really want to call Colorado home know they have to call their neighbors their family.
I was reminded by the deafening lack of blood relation this past weekend when we had our big baby party at 35 weeks pregnancy. No one related to me nor my husband were in attendance. Instead we had friends of varying ages falling over themselves to host a party in our yard for us and for our baby. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.
At the party my husband and I finally took the time to eat and almost like a steady mob scene we were encroached upon by at least 40 people. One of the party organizers and a videographer coordinated the movement of people and asked my husband to speak with us at the center. He mentioned how this baby is coming into this village, and we would need their help to keep our heads on straight in dealing with a child, a new experience for first-time parents. Friends then took turns reading poetry, blessings, and kind words.
There were a lot of tears, shaking, laughing, hugging, and a range of emotions that could not have been more heartfelt than if these people were our siblings, parents, or cousins. It is this community that has helped make this pregnancy rather easy. In the last 35 weeks I have been fawned over by close female-friends, had shoulders to cry on when I needed them, and have been profusely complimented on my appearance even if it was only to brighten my day a little.
My child will be a Colorado native, born to a village who loves it. This community of people have made my pregnancy relatively easy, and the baby will benefit from all of its surrogate aunts and uncles that have already warmly welcomed it. I am grateful for our village of tech geeks, academics, yogis, and overall good-hearted people who will greet you with a hug rather than a handshake. It is my hope to return their affection as their families also need that gentle support that a village reciprocates.
Kia is an environmental specialist and yoga instructor expecting her first child in the next month. You can read more about her impending mommy adventures here.