They say "It takes a village to raise a child," and looking at my family over the past couple of years, I have to say, that African proverb is dead on!
With my sister's two sets of twins (2nd graders Buddy and Ka-Diva and almost 19-month-olds Pooper and Butterfly), my 20-month-old Monkey, and my "honorary" brood of 19-year-old Heaven, 16-year-old Kama, honorary son-in-law Kelly, 4-year-old Booger Bear, and almost 22-month-old Banana (not to mention any other foster kiddos who come my way), we've definitely got our hands full! Fortunately, our "village" has come together to do whatever we can to raise these kids without doing too much damage. ;-)
Village undertaking number two would have to be that of "coordinating schedules." On any given week, my sister, our mom, and I pull out our day planners and coordinate our plan of attack. Because my sister and I both work outside of the home (me full-time, and Christy part-time), we depend heavily on our mom during the work week. Quite honestly, when I say "it takes a village...," what I mostly mean is "it takes our mom!" Not only does our mom move from house to house to watch toddlers, she somehow manages to help around our houses too! I have a Magical Dishwashing Fairy who comes to my house on the mornings that my mom keeps Monkey for me, and my sister has a Magical Laundry Fairy who helps her out.
Village undertaking number three would be our constant "on call" status. With all of Pooper's appointments, after school stuff, gymnastics, school, etc. and just all of the other things that come with a family of six, their schedule tends to change from week to week, so I try to be as flexible as I can be. I tend to be the "on call" transportation when one of the big twins gets sick at school or needs a ride home from tutoring. Fortunately, I work just down the street from the kids' school, so I can make a quick run and be back at work in 20 minutes. I'm also "on call" for Booger and Banana when Heaven and Kelly need help.
Village undertaking number four is that of "musical households." Christy's got her hands full, so we do our best to entertain the big twins by having them spend the night with Nana and Papa, spending time at Aunt Tammy's having fun with the Saturday Crew, and having playdates at each other's houses just so there are more grown-ups to watch all of the toddlers around at the same time. The kids enjoy playing with each other, and the grown ups enjoy being able to tag team for diaper duty. :-)
My "village" is a busy, busy place. My "village" is chaotic. My "village" keeps us all on our toes.
My "village" is absolutely perfect!
And for that, I am eternally grateful...