Posted: 17 Sep 2010 03:20 PM PDT | My Journal
It takes a village to raise a child. Yes, it’s a tacky and overused statement and yet, so totally true.
I’ve worked hard to make sure my children have mentors, various family and friends that could dispense advice and provide a strong support network.
I’m a mom, not a do-all-be-all-everything entity. Sometimes I need someone to step in and help.
Other times, the kids will want to confide in a non-parent. I’m OK with that, expect it and encourage that type of independence. It’s my job as a parent to help foster those connections with trustworthy people, and then let them be.
Recently, I learned a second, and equally important, lesson in parenting: Communication between the villagers is key. This particular epiphany popped for me the morning of the Central California Women’s Conference.
The night before a good friend, and member of our family village, stayed over so she could shuttle the kids to school and the sitter – freeing me to be at the conference by 7 a.m.
“Hey, Debbie,” I said, after finding a quiet-ish spot amongst the 3,400 women in attendance and calling her on my cell. ”I just wanted to thank you so much for your help this morning.”
“Oh, sure! Craig’s at school and Abby’s with grandma. He did a good job this morning getting dressed and ready,” Debbie said. She’d taught my son how to make a little man out of his clothes, socks and shoes after dinner to speed up the morning drag. “He brushed his teeth too.”
“Fantastic.” Oral care seems simple, until you try to wrestle a grumpy, 6-year-old spitting rascal with a toothbrush. “I can’t thank you enough. It was such a relief knowing all that was taken care of and my husband and I could get to work on time. Only there’s a small … minor … little problem.”
“Oh, what’s that?”
Perhaps Debbie was thinking more along the lines of a forgotten backpack or jacket before my last statement. I know that was my thought a few minutes earlier, when my caller ID showed his old school, where he attended preschool and then Kindergarten, calling.
“Ms. Hinson, we have Craig in the cafeteria,” the office secretary said. “He’s … “
“What? How’s that possible?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and my memory of the morning scrambled. “Did the bus drop him off there?” How in the world could that happen? No, it wasn’t possible. They were incredibly careful with the kids.
“Well, no. He said someone named Dobba dropped him off?”
“Oh my god, that’s right.” During the sharing of instructions to grandma’s house, packing items to take to the conference and installing the car seats in Debbie’s SUV, my husband and I forgot to tell her Craig was attending a different school this year.
(Oh yeah, mister. I’m dragging you down with me.)Lesson learned. Communication is key, even amongst the village people.