Sunday, August 30, 2020

Be the Village

One of the things that I think has been most tragic about the pandemic has been the loss of the village. The village in our western culture was never much to begin with. Some people didn't want it at all. 

I remember hearing the phrase "It takes a village to raise a child" back in the early nineties. It may have been from the mouth of Hilary Clinton and because it came from her it was vilified as socialist ideology and the intent for the state to take parental rights away from parents. Sigh. How quickly we turn anything into a political agenda. 

The truth is it DOES take a village. Some parents, those who are highly competent or uber self-sufficient or just plain paranoid, may not agree. But I think the rest of us see that we NEED each other and we need each other even more when we are doing the hardest task on the planet: raising a tiny human to adulthood. 

Parenthood is hard. Parenthood can be lonely. And no parent has all of what it takes. 

In times past parents could depend, if they were so fortunate, on family members, on friends, on neighbors. On teachers and coaches. On pastors and the church. But not everybody had these connections. For them the village was too small. Or nonexistent. 

But now, now, so much has changed. For almost six months parents have had their kids 24 hours a day with little to no support from the outside world. No school to go to. No soccer games to attend. No playgrounds to let off kinetic energy and meet other moms. No coffee shops to serve as mini therapy sessions with another weary soul. No church gatherings. The village has all but evaporated. 

And while life as kids know it has changed dramatically, the demands of life, work, responsibilities, obligations of parents have not. No wonder parents are 

All this to say, if you have time on your hands or an extra batch of energy in your soul, reach out to a parent and offer to help. Offer to come over and assist with online school or take a child for an ice cream treat or a bike ride. Offer to come sit and be another adult presence in a house of 24/7 frustrated kid chaos. Offer to bring a meal that isn't chicken nuggets or yet another frozen pizza. Offer to listen the the exasperated, exhausted cries of a mother  (or grandmother 😉) who can't do it all. 

In the craziness of life that is 2020, we need the village now so much more than ever. You can make a difference. You really can. 

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