It Takes a Village
by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson
Some days are so draining that all I look forward to is picking up the boys from school so I can get one of their big bear hugs. But lately it seems that three or four other boys surround me, grinning and taking turns wrapping their arms around my waist. My boys are usually a few feet away, standing in disbelief with their mouths open and blank stares on their faces. They don’t say anything, but they’re probably thinking, “They wanna hug our mom?”
Sometimes when other kids are in the car, I try to be the cool mom. You know, turning up the music even though I might hate it. Then I start doing the front-seat-driver dance. It’s far from anything that Justin Bieber can do, but my sons’ friends get a kick out of it, assuring me that I’m funny and not a total embarrassment. My kids, not so much.
Two weeks ago, I found a note buried in my son Miles’s backpack. It was a reminder about an upcoming field trip. The one to a cold, dark, cramped cave. Gulp. I am not a big fan of small spaces but my son asked if I could go nearly six months ago. He excitedly told me, “And we’re going on a big bus and we’ll be gone all day. We’re going to the capital too. And we’re gonna eat ice cream!” Oh boy. There was no saying no to this.
Before entering the cave, the guides told us the tour would be about 45 minutes long. That sounded like forever, but at least I didn’t have to worry about embarrassing my son who was so far ahead of me I don’t think he knew where I was. I had to do this. I kept thinking, “Maybe I can use the breathing techniques they taught us in birthing class.”
I did okay until the light became dim and the tour guide announced, “This next section is very tight. You may need to walk through sideways.” Sideways! I had already prepared people they might have to pull me out, so I figured I would just close my eyes and keep walking.
Just as I made it through the cruel, tight space, a hand reached out for mine. It was a classmate of my son’s, and as she looked up at me so sweetly I forgot that I was a few hundred feet underground, surrounded by stone walls and the smell of mildew. She held on so tightly to my hand that I knew I was gonna be okay.
I have really come to appreciate the maxim, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And already I’m seeing those children have been raised well.