It Takes a Village

“It takes a village to raise a child.”

Author: Unknown

It is a well known saying. It is a saying I have heard many times since my children were born. It is one certain people throw in my face when I try to tell them that their criticism and judgment on how my husband and I raise our children, on how we must be doing something wrong as they have just observed our pre-teen son, who happens to be autistic, have a meltdown, and He is too old to behave that way, that all this negativity is not welcome. “Oh we are just trying to help” Please….

That being said, I am learning share the burdens I bear with others who “get it” who are not critical, negative and judgmental. I am building my village, and the realization that I do not have to walk this road alone is an amazing feeling.

I have begun the process of finding out if my oldest daughter also lands on the spectrum. Letters have been written to the school she attends. I have discussed my concerns with our pediatrician. My husband and I sat down and discussed it with her and found out her concerns, her fears, her questions “Why do I feel like I don’t fit in mom?”

It was scary the first time around, with our son, and it is scary this time around.  Just typing it out here is overwhelming…It rips my heart out to hear my daughter upset because her best friend, one of a list of friends that is so short I can count it on my fingers, moved away.  Last night I took her to a concert our church was hosting for the youth group, but it was too loud, and a major sensory meltdown was the result. My heart broke for my daughter, but I forced myself to hold in my own tears as I worked to console my child, to find out if she wanted to stay, or go home. I say all this to say what happened next. As I worked to calm my child, I felt a love I have NEVER felt before. A group of ladies I have come to call friend surrounded us. They hunted down some Tylenol for my child, they helped keep me calm, they helped console my girl, they let her know it’s ok, they let me know I am not alone. They encircled us and surrounded us with so much love. They prayed with us. Then one of the young ladies from our amazing youth group came out to check on my girl, to tell her ” I wanted to make sure you were ok.”

My sweet girl decided we would leave early, she wanted to go home. On the way home, I could no longer hold in my tears as she said something to the effect of ” It is nights like this when I know who my true friends are. They love us even when we fall apart”. It was at that moment as we drove home, both of us in tears, that I realized the wagons had been circled, and we are going to be ok. I didn’t have to face this alone, and my girl doesn’t either.

My friend Jess over at Diary of a Mom wrote today about her Village. She said “We are different. We come from dramatically varied walks of life. I dare say our paths might not have crossed in any other way. Yet the feeling that we were MEANT to be friends is undeniable. These women heal me. Their very presence in my life is a salve.” YES!!!!

Each of the women in my own small village have been brought into my world , some via church, some via Miracle League  baseball, some I only know via Facebook and the autism Momma blog circle I have found myself in.  We are an eclectic bunch, Military wives, Special needs Mommas, and though our journeys are all different, we walk the road together. We lift each other up, we inspire, we laugh, we cry, we encourage. These ladies know what I mean when I want to shout from the rooftops because my son ASKED for a birthday party. These ladies understand when I want to cry because my kids want “Daddy home now” but he can’t come home due to whatever training thing the Military has him off doing. These ladies don’t judge me because my house is not spotless, or tell me I am a failure when my child has a meltdown.  They don’t tear me down, they build me up, and I can only hope that I do the same for them. The people in my village don’t try to “fix me” or “fix” my kids, they accept, they love….

“When we honestly ask ourselves

which person in our lives mean the most to us,

we often find that it is those who,

instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures,

have chosen rather to share our pain

and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. 

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion,

who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement,

who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing

and face with us the reality of our powerlessness,

that is a friend who cares.” 

~Henri Nouwen

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2 thoughts on “It Takes a Village

  1. Wow. I can’t believe this blog, I have been thinking and talking about this too. I guess it just comes with the territory of being a mom, but here, I like how you said we all have our own path to walk. That is true, and inspiring. It’s nice to know others share in your experiences, and are there for you, but in the end, parenting and life is such an individual experience. What works for me, might not work for you, and that is where so much discussion comes from.

    If you want, you can check out my blog too — mommypatter.com – I’d love to hear your insightful thoughts on my rambling. I think you’re a great writer, can’t wait to dig deeper into this blog. Thanks for this.

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