I clearly remember when then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton came out with her book “It takes a Village”.
What controversy!! I especially remember the outrage in my small circle of influence and Bob Dole while running for president, specifically stating that it just takes a family, not a village. That book came out exactly 10 years before I become a mother.
Fast forward 10 years to when our own little bundle of joy came into our lives. At that time in our lives, I needed to go back to work for financial reasons and only got to stay home with Sophia for the first 8 weeks of her life. After I returned to work, our then pastor’s wife watched her 2 days a week, hubby watched her 1 day a week and my parents split the other 2 days between themselves. There was already a village starting.
Over the years, we’ve had different people involved in the aspects of our family’s life and invested in our kids. The older two spent time in daycare and had outside nannies and sitters. I can say without a doubt that I’m proud to have a village of excellent people around us that encourage, support and help in the day-to-day of parenting. I honestly cannot imagine raising our children without them! I love that they have more than just two people investing in them and providing godly examples and behaviors. I love that they each have special people in their lives that just make them light up! I love that those people may or may not be blood relatives and the more the merrier (in my opinion!)
I’ve only been a mom for 5 1/2 years, but I can definitely say, without a doubt, that while yes, a larger portion of child rearing and education lies on our shoulders as parents, I welcome the village that we’ve created around our kids. Honestly, I do think that our Western Culture has totally missed the boat on this one! I love going home to Peru and having 30+ family members surround our kids, play with our kids, discipline them, educate them, love on them, etc.
And here at home…those of you who are part of our village (you know who you are) You are so very much loved and so very much appreciated! We are so incredibly thankful that we’re not alone on this journey and that we have others who love our kids so much!
Last night, our extended family, our village, (most of them are not blood relation) came around our family to love on and pray for our little Lucas and his struggle with eczema. What a sense of belonging and security, knowing that others love our kids and want the best for them. I’m so thankful for the people God has brought into our lives…some of which we’ve known for the full 5 1/2 years as parents and other we’ve just met but still feel like family.
Thank you family…we love you!
Kristina Torrejon is a wife, mother of three, and member of the developing Trinity Grace Washington Heights church community.