There is an old African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child”. The meaning of the proverb is that it takes an entire community to raise a child. There is only so much that can be learned from a child’s own parents, but the experiences and help of those within their community can lead to more life lessons. While I always knew this and strongly believed in this concept, it became very apparent when we welcomed our twin babies into this world.
When we got the news that my wife would be giving birth to twins, initially it was a shock. My wife’s shock lasted a little longer than mine, which is understandable, because she would be the one to have to carry around two growing human beings. We know that a child is a blessing, but when you’ve had one at time previously, two can appear to be a little overwhelming. After we spread the news that we were having twins, we received thousands of congratulatory texts and phone calls. On social media, I half way joked and said, “thanks for all the well wishes, but I’m going to need y’all to keep that same energy when the twins get here”. While I meant it because I knew we would need the help, I wasn’t expecting the help. We already knew we had a great circle of family and friends, but the way they stepped up to help us has been amazing!
Our family does not consist of just blood relatives. A lot of our extended family members come from relationships that we had built while in college. I can honestly say that every person in our life has stepped up to help us. My wife’s friends provide a different type of support than my friends. There are some things that women bring to the table that let us know just how much we need them in this world. While I was busy working and my wife was taking care of the kids, her friends rallied around her amazingly. They kept her busy in my absence, sent meals over to make sure my wife could rest and not have to worry about cooking, and they would even pick up my older kids to get them out of the house and make sure they made it to their extracurricular activities. We’ve even had family and friends travel in from great distances and stay extended amounts of time just to help out. I had to reach out to the husbands of the women who were so willing to help us just to tell them thank you as well. These special women had families of their own to tend to, but found time to make sure my family was good, which I deeply appreciate. My guys were helpful as well. My father flew in from Cleveland just to put together cribs, bikes, toys and cook. My father is the ultimate grandparent! I find it very important to have strong male role models in the life of my boys, even if it’s just to do “boy things”. Thanks to my friends who picked my son up to go have wrestling matches, when I couldn’t wrestle with him or had him over their house just to have a free for all, which all little boys need.
There are so many people that I am thankful for, I would hate to miss someone so I won’t attempt to name them all. Plus, I’m selfish sometimes, I don’t need anyone trying to steal our friends. We are not sharing them. Moral of the story is, build strong bonds, be around people you can trust and you know have you back, and make sure you give them that same energy.
Till next time… STRIVE TO EXCEL!