Sunday, November 2, 2014

the village

Ready or not, our second precious baby is due any day now. Due date of November 11th, but I learned after older sister came 8 days past her due date to treat due dates pretty casually. Driving home from a baby shower today, listening to Audrey Assad (that wonderful woman, her words and her voice are pretty muse-like for me...I always find myself thinking deeply), I got a picture in my head of holding Zoe and this new precious babe, but with tears streaming down my face (in the picture). I think the tears were this both/and mixture of overwhelming happiness and overwhelming overwhelm-ed-ness. This time around, I have a much deeper understanding of how utterly, incredibly, helplessly unprepared I feel, and perhaps am. The first time, I had no idea how hard it was going to be, so it was easy to be blissfully unaware of what was coming. It was happy, it was beautiful, and it. was. a. lot. of. work. Nobody can fully prepare you for it.

This time, I come with the knowledge that experience brings. I know the lack of sleep and how that alone invades all other spaces. I am intimately acquainted with how just making it to the end of the day can be something of the miraculous. And I am convinced more now than ever of my need for my God and my village. We left Zoe with friends for a night this weekend, to "get away" for some last-minute rest before this baby arrives. Originally I had hopes of making it to the beach for a sunset while we enjoyed dinner. A long morning and rainy weather threw a wrench in those plans, so instead we rented a hotel room. And we slept. Luxurious is the sleep of those who know they can sleep in the next morning, uninterrupted. Our village let us enjoy luxurious sleep for a day by taking care of Zoe and it was wonderful. 

We needed our village to remember what that kind of sleep was even like. I am learning to depend on my village more in a culture that promotes independence as a top virtue. Independence is good in some contexts - perhaps even most, I would argue - but I have realized even as I teach Zoe how to be independent in learning new skills, I need to be careful that I also teach her that asking for help is equally virtuous, and nothing to disregard. There are lessons and opportunities lost for myself and others when I try to pull myself up by my bootstraps instead of falling back on the steady, waiting arms of those surrounding me in our village. Or the much steadier and ever-waiting arms of my God. I don't want to miss those.

(Who is in your village? For whom are you part of a village? In what ways do you fall back onto your village? In what ways do you refrain from falling back on them? Why?)

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