I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of it takes a village to raise a child lately. We’ve all heard it, and we all have accepted it. But how many of us have actually found said village? It took me a year and a half to find some kind of one. Can you imagine how much harder it would be if say I didn’t speak the language? When our mothers and grandmothers raised children they did it in large groups, usually joined together by living in close proximity or extended families. I grew up with endless amounts of mothers. Yet now as we grow globally we also become more independent of each other. We move further and further away from our support systems in search of the life we want to build. Nuclear families. Larger properties. More space. And I see that it becomes much easier to say “they have to do it themselves, it’s not my problem, after all I did it on my own”. And that extends pretty damn far, from judging the moms at kids schools when they are late to those mothers running across the border with small children broke the law and put that child at risk! So now they have to face the consequences of possibly losing their child forever.
Forever is a big word. Sometimes I feel like it’s been forever that my child has been a tiny newborn. But it’s been just over a year. Or FOREVER since I had a night out? Imagine what unlimited, unknown amount of time away from your child actually is. A possibility of truly being separated FOREVER. I can’t imagine the anguish, the heart ache, the fear. I can’t imagine what could drive me to run across a desert with my child in the middle of the night and walk for days to try to find a new place to call home. Must have been truly a feeling of fearing that your current home may be at war… forever. That it may be forever until you feel safe again. Why aren’t we sympathizing? Why is it difficult to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else who is trying their best. Why aren’t we working to create the village we’ve heard so much about?
I’m in awe of the people stepping up to try to fix this. This big problem created by people who don’t care about small peoples lives that don’t look like theirs. Some of the people in my church have collected toys, blankets, and money to donate to the children still being held in cages. Children that may or may not ever be reunited with their parents. Thousands showed up this weekend to protest the separation of families who come across our border. We will continue to try to figure this out, a way to be kinder to those who don’t look or live like us.
On top of that I’ve found a village of my own. A collection of mothers who are feeling just as I am. Inside that village of “heathen moms”. That’s non christian, maybe spiritual maybe atheist maybe somewhere in between moms that don’t fit into the stereotype of an OC mom. It just so happens when you take religion out of the list of characteristics in a group you are also left with people who’s moral guide is a little more liberal. We are a little less driven by getting in trouble with god or the government and more concerned with doing good works for the other people in our world and our village because it’s just the right thing to do.
Inside this village I found a branch into another. The world of UU. Unitarian Universalist Church. Sounds like a cult yeah? Well maybe it is, but if it is I’m kinda ok with it since they ask so little. They want to give back, they want to connect, they want to help each other live with equality and love. I literally owe them nothing but my open mind and maybe sometimes my attendance and giving towards charitable works. Little by little I’m connecting and it makes me sympathize with the feelings of those who don’t have that. They want what I want. More kindness. I hope we can achieve it, through protest, through donation, through showing up for each other. I hope that forever won’t be something we say about children separated from parents, that it will be something they will say “god it’s been FOREVER since we had ice cream!” and that it’s actually been maybe a couple of weeks. I hope we can reunite these families and help them find their villages. Their mom groups. Their churches. I hope they never have to fear losing each other again.