It takes a village

I am a firm believer in the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” After all, while I don’t have children of my own to raise, I was raised by parents who readily accessed a handful of people to help us out as needed. Aunts and uncles lovingly sent me gifts. Grandparents, both biological and adopted, spent time with me. I had a number of family friends who watched me when I was sick, babysat me when my parents went out, and mentored me through a number of activities. Many of these adults are now gone out of my life, but many also remain, connected through phone calls, emails, social media and good old fashioned snail mail. Many have said they are proud of this adventure I am on.

Recently, I was called a socialist for having this belief. I was also called a few other things that need not be repeated, but I had a good laugh over it. It didn’t bother me as much as this person probably thought it would because well, I was raised by a figurative village and this person likely was too. I still am part of a village now.

I have tried to model the adults in the figurative village in which I was raised. I have babysat friends’ kids often, sometimes even overnight, as they worked or had something come up. I help keep an eye on kids at church so their parents and grandparents can visit. I send cards and gifts to my many nieces and nephews and little cousins, biological and adopted and collected along the way. I try my best to be a good model of an adult in any child or teen’s life, because I know that kids need more role models. They need to learn how to act in society as a whole, and they can’t learn that kind of behavior from just their parents alone. They need other adults to show them how to act and think and resolve differences and be.

But it doesn’t take just a village to raise a child. It takes a village to continue being an adult as well.

While I am a firm introvert who needs plenty of time to recharge my social battery after a long day at the full time job, I would be lost without the friends that I have that don’t mind me texting to say hi instead of calling on the hard days. I’d be lost without the collection of friends willing to have a game night on off days so that we can just chat, laugh, and eat food. I’d be lost without companionship of my other half. I would be lost without the love I receive from the family of choice I have created through my church and my community. I’d be lost without the members of my blood family who love and support me. I’d be lost without the circle of writing and gaming friends I have made throughout the globe. I would be lost if I didn’t create a place in this global village where I, as a forty-plus-adult, could belong and grow.

Everyone needs a community. Everyone needs a place where they can be their authentic self, in whatever form that may be. Everyone needs a place where they can belong. Everyone needs their village. Everyone needs that space to be surrounded by friends who may challenge one to learn, to love, to grow. We all need a space where we can feel welcome and even keep living a long and healthy life.

School started this week in my little swath of the Midwest.  Along with others in the community, the other half and I bought school ​​supplies for those in need. We could have chosen to spend our hard-earned money on other things. After all, we also pay taxes that should pay for some of those things. But we both believe that to better society, to strengthen the village,  we need to better those that may not have as much. We both feel that the community is stronger when people come together. Even when we didn’t have a lot, we looked to see what we could do to better our community. So we gave, not for recognition or profit elsewhere, but to make sure those we have come to know and love in this little swath of the Midwest had what they needed. We supported our village.

Even in my stories, community plays a large role. Because he becomes an outcast in his own realm, Solilune of Delphian searches for a home of his own. That story can be read in the novel Portal Seeker (free this weekend on Kindle). Community plays a role in all of my stories, actually. Without the villages in which my characters live, no matter what their realms, they would not be who they are or achieve what they set out to achieve. They come together to rejoice and mourn with each other. They work together. They help to write each other’s stories. They help to create some sort of magic.

So find a place to belong. Help raise a village of people, not just children. Help others to see and write their stories just as you write your own. And don’t let anyone else call you names for doing so…. or if they do, laugh heartily over it.

Stay magical, people. Write your own story.

I know I will.


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If you wanted to see some of the fantasy works I have written, check out my Portals Series.

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And as always, #writeyourownstory

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