I was at an appointment with the twins today - who were conveniently on their worst behavior - and it was one of those train wreck moments where they were both sobbing and frantically clawing at me to be held. As the doctor and I talked over the howls and chaos, she said to me, "I don't know how you do it." And to this, my secret answer is: I put one foot in front of the other... and go. There's really no other way. The doctor went on to say how it takes a village...and then swiftly interrupted herself to say, "you must need two."
It takes a village to raise a child.
This long-standing proverb was articulated long ago as a universal truth about raising children. It was uttered by the lips of so many people before us. People wise with practice, people armed with strength, people filled with knowing. People just like us.
People defeated by demanding days, people wandering aimlessly down ancient trails of ancient villages (or wandering aimlessly down the bright aisles of Target), people bargaining for good behavior, for better sleep, for "just one more bite." People just like us.
People with a love so strong, it fills them up and seeps out the sides.
People that already know the story that lies ahead. People that know that raising a child can take everything we have - and then more. People that see how it can take every inch of our hearts, every piece of our patience, and every wink of our sleep.
These people are all around us. They are family. They are friends. They are strangers. They know that there is strength in numbers, and that there is comfort in a village.
Can we do it alone? Sure, but it is so much better when we are surrounded by others.
So, let someone share the burden. Let someone carry the weight. Let someone lift you up. Let someone wipe that yogurt off your face.
Reach up, out, and all around, and grow your village.
I am lucky to have such a strong village - filled with a super-hero husband, parents, step-parents, in-laws, grandparents, sisters, friends, and community.
But if you find an extra village floating around somewhere, let me know - because I need two.