Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hillary Was Right (this is not a political post)

I choose not to make this blog a forum for political discussion or debate, because there are so many people, who I care about deeply, that have different political beliefs. Rather than preaching to the choir (Hi, Tom!) or offending others (Hi, Dad!), I'll just let the gazillion politically minded bloggers do their thing...except for this.

Hillary was right. I don't care if you bleed red or ooze blue, it's a simple and true notion. The world is too big, and too scary, so all children need as many caring, thoughtful, perceptive adults in their lives as possible. Yes, it really does take a village to raise a child. I don't care if the phrase has become a cliche. It's true.

(A sidebar: I know that Hillary did not come up with the phrase. It's from a folktale. If I was so inclined, I would look it up and tell you where the folktale came from. Alas, I am not so inclined.)

A big part of my village is simply watching other mothers, and stealing what they do right. I admire so many mothers, because they teach me, through their words and actions, how to do a better job with the boys.

Kristen teaches me to be militantly proud of having boys, and to never, ever, let the younger one think he is anything less than what we wanted.
Joanne reminds me when I'm about to lose it, that children have unique temperaments; the mother, not a book, knows best.
Jamie teaches me that the whole point of having children is to show them the wonder of the world.
Melissa teaches me that everything is better with balloons. She also teaches me not to underestimate my children's spiritual development.
Kirsten reminds me that sometimes, baby just needs to Disco!
Dawn reminds me that God is using me to raise the boys.
Jen Matthews reminds me that one of the greatest acts of love is to stop, and listen to what your kids have to say.
Janet helps me see that kids do grow up, and things will be a different kind of crazy someday...
Nikki helps me see the wonder of Joel, and of having a newborn, all over again.
Jen Muschlitz reminds me that kids deserve a big fuss sometimes.
Erin reminds me that kids have dignity

I know that unless you just got a shout-out, you don't know most of these people. If you weren't listed, understand that it's not because you didn't influence me---you did. It more has to do with the fact that I hear the telltale heavy breathing on the monitor, meaning that Joel is about to wake up.

Know, please, that what you do each day matters. I'm watching. They're watching. We're all watching. I learn from you, sitting in my hut, looking out the window, in this village I've made my own.

No comments: