It Depends On The Village

I'm sure we've all heard the saying "It takes a village to raise a child". While I'm aware of the feel-good thought behind it being that a sense of community is important to children, I'm also a little put off by the dismissal of the role the parent plays in the life of the child.

Yes, I have family and friends that help me out. And I help them out. But none of us have linked the success of our child-raising to the input of others. Realistically, if my family were placed into the federal witness protection program we'd still be successful in raising our children. Sure, we'd be a little stressed, but we wouldn't dissolve into a non-functioning mess.

Perhaps I feel like my home is under attack in much the same way France is under attack with the riots.

I've allowed imigration into The Village willy-nilly, letting people "in" because they were my old friends. Coddling them, giving them a view into a world different than theirs, all the while knowing they can never be me. I suppose it was cruel.

Now all those single thirty-somethings have decided that my children are the closest THEY are ever going to have to their own children, so my children are going to become "village" children.

I couldn't make this up if I tried. Friends that don't even know my children's names are having birthdays and suddenly lamenting their own lack of children, and eyeing mine. The absolute creepiest thing is to watch a friend at dinner pretending that your children are hers. Subtly of course, but still. And then later announcing that they behaved because she was there to take charge. (Note: The appropriate response is "No, they behaved because they're normal. This isn't some dysfunctional sitcom.")

I suppose there's some humor value in having four well-behaved children, and getting parenting advice from people that don't even have pets. Really. No pets.

Fortunately for my children, I'm not French.

Waves

I agree. But maybe for the first child.For subsequent children, I think parents have pretty mastered the signs to watch out for.

essay samples | 10/03/2013 - 07:30 AM
 
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