It Takes a Village…

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There’s an old African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And this past weekend at my daughter and future son-in-law’s couples’ wedding shower, I witnessed the beauty of that statement.

After Annie and Carey finished opening their lavish gifts, Carey rose. From his heart of hearts he thanked everyone for coming and for their generous presents. He paused briefly. Then, he scanned the room like a minute hand on a clock, his eyes making contact with his Mom, Wanda… his Dad, Marion… and his parents’ friends of over thirty years, and continued. “And I want to thank you all for the memories… the times we shared together. You are all my family, a part of who I am today, and for that… I thank you.” (Not exact quote, but close!) As the crowd applauded I heard sniffles from behind. I turned and patted Wanda’s knee watching her finger a spring of tears rolling from the corner of her eyes. I can’t say for certain but can only assume that each droplet was a combination of tears – “proud mama ones” and “gratitude ones” for friendships that spanned time and space.

Within seconds the room came alive and one friend after another began sharing their favorite extended family memories – toga parties, introducing their new northern neighbors to pig roasts, post-Christmas morning celebrations in the cul-de-sac as the sleepless parents circled their chairs around the kids riding their new bikes in their footed jammies. One story built upon the other, laughter echoed and hands patted their hearts. And as I listened I could swear I heard Elton John singing, “Can you feel the love tonight?” playing in the background.

It’s not an everyday occurrence for a group of strangers to meet by chance and have the opportunity to raise their children in a village. But it does happen! And I was honored to experience first-hand the beauty and depth of that love.

Just for the record, by the end of the evening I was raising my hand saying “I’m a wanna-be.”


9 thoughts on “It Takes a Village…

  1. Pattie, Again I’m brought to tears. Thank you for such a heart felt tribute to such a wonderful night. Believe me you don’t have to be a wanna be-you’re part of our family now.

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