TheDad is not fond of the expression "it takes a village to raise a child." To him, it represents the invasion of government into a family's life and structure.
But when it comes right down to it, TheDad exemplifies the expression when you think of it as meaning that friends and neighbors have an influence, even a vital role, in a child's life and upbringing.
Adventure Boy has been having a rough time lately. And while we don't see as much of him now that he's 9 and involved in sports--and there are other boys on the block now, so we're not the only game in town--indications are still strong that he sees us as part of his family.
We're his God-family. TheDad and I are his godparents, and he calls Little Brother his God-brother.
In the past couple of days, we learned just how much it meant to him when TheDad used to bring Adventure Boy to church. That pretty much fell off when our parish started holding CCD (oops, Faith Formation) on Sundays--including a Mass--so he hasn't come to church with us for quite a while. Apparently he misses it.
All 3 of our kids are busy during Mass. The boys are with me in the Folk Group. Middle Sister is an altar server. So TheDad is in the pew by himself.
Today, though, he'll have company. Adventure Boy is coming to church with TheDad.
I know that I have resented this child's ubiquitous presence more often than not. But I have to remember to lose the selfish attitude and allow an emotionally needy little boy to share my family's life. We're his village right now, and he needs us.