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Grown-ups Need Villages, Too

The quote that “It takes a Village to Raise a Child”, popped into my mind today as I was thinking about my friends, my support people, and my family members. The people who are holding me up and holding me together in this time of separation and fear.

Thru all of this social distancing, I am clearly seeing the people in my life who are showing themselves to be my village. I am seeing them in those terms.  The people who have formed around me, to build and grow. The ones who are raising me up – teaching me to be a better, stronger person. A kinder person. A more positive person. They are showing me who they really are and who I hope to be more like.

My sister. My sister, the Textile Ranger*,  has always been a strong force in my village. The one who has been with me since the beginning, who made up bedtime stories for me and played paper dolls with me. A smart and talented woman, she is generous and funny and she always has a shoulder for me to cry on. We enjoy each other’s company and we share a common background, a history, so we understand each other. We have inside jokes. We appreciate each others creativity. She is still the one I turn to for advice and wisdom. She is still the one who listens to me and hears what I am saying. I respect and admire her. I am sometimes in awe of her. There is a peacefulness when I am with her.

My work posse. A varied lot, these three women who have come to mean so much to me. Each with their own unique character and attitude and style.  We started chatting thru texts every morning during this pandemic.  We joke, we laugh, we bitch …we check in with one another.  The truth is, we all had things going on before Covid-19 flipped our world upside down. Not just business stuff, but life stuff.  So we awaken each day to our new little pattern. Coffee, tea, and texting.  It’s something I look forward to – their perspectives, their humor, their positivity in this time when so much out there is just plain scary. I see something in each one of them that I would like to better emulate. Strength, energy, generosity, perseverance, joy. These are the types of women who unexpectedly walk into your life and just make you feel so blessed because they have.

Then of course, there is my BFF Jill**. Only her name isn’t really Jill – her name is Mama Jo. Friends for years, thru thick and thin. Since she moved out of Texas, we definitely don’t get to see each other very often. She is part of my long distance village.  Long phone calls, Facebook sightings…. Jo is the girl who teaches me how to be a friend. The one who is there at 3 in the morning, who goes out of her way to rescue you, who sits for hours in a hospital waiting room with you or in a hospital room for you because you live 1200 miles away and your dad is really sick.  I wish that everyone could have a friend like her.

Teachers.  The real ones, who under normal circumstances would be suffering my kid’s inattentiveness and charming attempts to not do his work in a regular school building.  This year, this thing that we are all trying to do online, these teachers are a huge part of my village.  And not just because of what they are doing for the kids, but because of the support they are giving to me and other frustrated parents everywhere.  We have three teachers here in the land of 6th grade.  They call me.  They email me.  They check on me. Am I doing ok? How is it going for me? Do we need anything? Is there anything they can do to help? I know very well that they are working harder than ever to keep us going, to keep teaching. I know they have their own families and are as equally affected by this quarantine as anyone.  But they have inserted themselves into my village and I could not be more appreciative.

We do not lose the need to learn and grow and be supported because we become adults.  We still need people to pick us up when we fall down, to help us become better as individuals,  to remind us of the good that is already within us.  Here and now, in the world we are living in, we need our villages more than ever. We need these people in our lives – the ones who listen and laugh and love and live through the daily ups and downs with us. 

Maybe we can’t be physically with them right now, but knowing they are right there makes getting through this time so much easier. 

*Deep in the Heart of Textiles, Textile Ranger’s Blog

**In case you want to see that commercial. https://youtu.be/4nIUcRJX9-o

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