Friday, August 20, 2010

It takes a village...

Let me tell you how sick I am of hearing that proverb. As soon as someone finds out I'm not married and Carrie's father is uninvolved, I get the three phases of sympathy.

Phase 1, in which they try to seem genuinely upset for me, since I seem to be ok with the situation: (head tilt) "So you're on your own, then?
--No, I just made up the story of her absentee father for sympathy. Yes, we're on our own, obviously.

Phase 2, in which they test an assumption they believe to be unique to themselves: "But you have a strong support network, right?"
--Ok, this is actually a valid question. Yes, we do have an excellent support network of family and friends.

Phase 3, in which the head tilt returns: (head tilt) "Well, you know what they say. It takes a village to raise a child!"
--Yes, I know what they say. They all say it. This proverb ranks right under "What a beautiful baby!" and "All you did today was take care of Caroline?!" for things I hear most often.

And then, during a conversation with Caroline's godmother, I had a Realization: When you hear the same things over and over again, you can really appreciate a well-spoken friend.

Because, really, I don't live in a village. And, even if I did, I'm sure a significant portion of the citizens of said village would have nothing to do with raising my child. Instead, I will choose to highlight the product-over-process aspect of child rearing en masse. I will no longer make any claims about childhood in villages. I will proudly proclaim to the world my views on group child rearing: Raising a baby is a team sport. Thank God I've got such a good first string.

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