Friday, February 01, 2008

It Takes a Village....

In my family's view, we live 'all alone.' Yes, we're far from blood relatives who would love to see Angelina daily. No, we don't have grandparents nearby who would happily take Angelina for a few hours while Fredo and I have a date, or whom we wouldn't hesitate to call at 3am if we needed help.

But we do have our village.

When I needed to call someone at 3am to come take care of Angelina while I went to the ER, I had a list of people I knew wouldn't hesitate to come over in an instant.

When I needed someone to pick her up from daycare, and then keep her overnight while I had emergency surgery, I immediately called our great neighbors, but I had my list handy if they weren't available. In fact, afterwards I had so many friends say "You should have called us. Don't hesitate to call if there's ever a next time!" I hope there never is, but I know we have plenty of options.

Yes, I miss her during the day, but I don't think she misses me one bit! She walks in to her daycare and runs over to the kids and toys. She laughs and plays all day. Her daycare provider, Mrs. Lopez, spends the day teaching her things - and teaching us first time parents a lot too. When I worried Angelina wasn't developing at the right pace, Mrs. Lopez assured me she was well within normal range. Having 'helped raise' kids in daycare for 20+ years, she knew what she was talking about. When Angelina finally did start walking, Mrs. Lopez worked with her to get it right. We do all those things too, but we don't have 20+ years of child-raising experience behind us. When we had to take Angelina to the ER because we thought she hurt her arm, Mrs. Lopez was up all night worrying about her.

We do miss our family, and we make as much effort as possible to see them and for Angelina to grow up "knowing" her cousins, if mainly via in pictures, email and phone.

But yes, it does take a village to raise a child. I want my child part of that village. I want her to learn from the villagers, not just from Mommy and Papa.


Riana Lagarde said...

I would love to have my child raised by a village. you are so lucky to have mrs lopez and her wealth of knowledge and tender care.

misschrisc said...

My family thinks were all alone here in Mexico too but I´ve met so many people here that have helped us out with the kids it´s totally amazing. I already have a babysitting pact with one friend and her and I totally abuse it.

Cherise said...

Chris that's great! I always found it easier being an ex-pat than moving within the US. It was always relatively easy to find the 'village' - since we were all in the same boat. It took us a little bit longer here in Texas, but we've managed.

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