Someone said to me recently, " Obviously I am not in your village" after a discussion on the guest parenting that many people do without reservation. Passive-aggressive behavior to the side, I've learned, after years of keeping my doors wide opening to accept every broken bird shakily scaling the walls of life, that it is my birthright to create a safe and happy village for my children. It is the gift I give myself.
To find the place you call home, stand in it, and own it with the people you choose to love, is the greatest gift of all. It is the eternal gift of peace that you share with those who have the courage to be in your sphere. To honor and cherish that sacred realm is my greatest responsibility and used to be my greatest challenge.
To that person who said that to me, I thank you. You helped me to practice building gossamer wings for my children to fly with, and gem-studded walls that they can climb over, protected by a force-field that radiates from inside of my heart. Thank you for the reminder, the test, and the confirmation, through inner knowing and joy, that the umbilical ties that bind me to the beautiful people I used to carry in my body can only be tampered with it if I decide so. and I decide no.
The greatest gift I was given as a young adult, was the experience of watching my parents literally build a new life from scratch. With the chill of October settling into the wild terrain of the West Virginia mountains, a 30 mile stint from Maryland, they completed the roof of their new home, and settled into a life that often smacked of complete insanity. But in the end it was the sanest thing anyone could have ever done, even when those mountains became their worst enemy. I watched everything that my father called home disappear before his eyes.
Maybe this is why I am a protective mother, because I know that stability is a myth. You can chase the most beautiful dream, but it has its own free will and can slip from your grasp. But what you can always take with you is the love that you share with your family. Controlling the influences in my children's lives offers a small modicum of control. The rest is completely and utterly unpredictable. The sixties loosened the hold on children that the fifties never could release, and we ran freely until we heard the call for dinner. The world is a completely different place now than it was then. Technology has enabled those that would hurt children to have greater and greater access to them. I wrap my arms as broadly around them as makes sense, while still allowing them to grow.
So, in sum, my village is my village. Every day I try to make it more and more beautiful than the last. Those that step into the sphere of my family, bring gifts of the Magi to my sons: respect, acceptance, love, kindness, intellect and an understanding of the precious insight that each young mind brings to our existence. They are the seers. I aspire to be as all knowing and kind as they are. Even in their worst moments, their hearts are bottomless. My prayers supplicate for a wider soul, a boundless love and greater acceptance, tolerance and equanimity. They teach me every day how to be a better human. Any adult who does not recognize their innately precious souls can move on to someone else's village.