Day 9: #GratitudeWritingChallenge

I went to bed last night and woke up this morning giving gratitude for our village. This is a common occurrence and I’ve written about our village previously in other writing communities. We have been and continue to be very blessed with an abundance of deeply caring and committed family, friends, childcare providers, Cub Scout leaders, coaches, and teachers who absolutely love our children. I don’t mean they love being around our kids because they are cute and funny. Ha! No, they truly love our kids and put up with their crap when they’re being less than cute and funny. Even in difficult times, these earthly angels remain committed to protecting our kids and helping them develop into the best versions of themselves. To say I’m grateful for these individuals feels like an understatement, but I don’t think a word exists to fully articulate how I feel about them. This is actually what I find myself writing on Christmas cards and teacher appreciation notes year in after year. Because there really are no words or deeds I could say or perform that would achieve true reciprocity or balance the scales.

It was our middle son’s infant room teacher who first voiced concern and urged us to get medical answers. You can read more about the staff at that same childcare center in a previous post here. Since then, we’ve had many more amazing teachers, friends, and babysitters come in and out of their lives. All of them took a vested interest in our kids and were so good for them.

My kids are incredibly lucky to be growing up having all of their grandparents within a 20-30 minute drive. Aunts and uncles and older cousins play an active role in their lives. Unfortunately, these are the people they’ve been separated the most from during the pandemic.

When I think about my son’s coaches over the last 9 years, I think nearly every one of them taught more than just the basics of the game. They taught leadership skills and how to be a team player. I can say the same thing about his martial arts instructor. Well before he earned his advanced belts, he was a well-mannered disciplined leader among his friends and fellow classmates at school. I guarantee he would not be that kid if it were simply up to us to influence and mold and shape him.

To paint just a tiny corner of the picture for you: My mother has constructed an elaborate scheme to entertain the kids. It all started with a little acorn cap that my daughter gave her on a recent visit. We now have photographic history of an entire bird family that has since hatched and flown from the nest. The kids are eating it up. And my mother did this purely out of love for her grandkids. She even bought TINY little birds off of Amazon for this! LOL! It’s so funny and so thoughtful. It’s their thing and they all love it. And it makes me so grateful that they have this opportunity with each other.

A friend of mine volunteered to provide childcare for my newborn daughter when I returned to work. He came to my office and watched her while I worked and accepted nothing in return. They bonded and he and his wife became two of our daughter’s best friends. Covid has made things difficult, but they occasionally still send video messages back and forth. She asks for them often and I don’t think she has any big plans or expectations other than to simply see them again.

I could go on and on and on with a myriad of stories that have touched us over the years and occurred as recently as today. I think when it comes to our children, parents hold a special place in their hearts for people who hold our children in theirs. Today and every day, I am grateful for the village.

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