Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A DISCLAIMER: The State of My Village

In a vaguely romanticized quote about some weird village in the wildly fictional hamlet of Me-First-Land, the world was informed that it takes a bunch of other people to raise a kid, your kid. I’m still looking for that abracadabra village, and I’ve got fourteen grandchildren. 

It is my studied opinion there is no such place. 

What there was: Me and my high school sweetheart and a few members of my crazy family and a lot of friends from church. But mostly it was me and that boy from high school that I married, who worked a full time job and went to school part time (sometimes full time) for TEN years to make sure our “village” didn’t go naked or starve.

What there was not: Someone, who wasn’t me, disciplining the nutty kid who had a tendency to dance naked with Chapstick tucked between the cheeks of her butt crack, while playing the kazoo to annoy her siblings. I. CANNOT. MAKE. THIS. STUFF. UP. The disciplining was all on me, no village in sight.

What I now know: The village cannot afford me. Believe it.

What I learned: That no one tried to make sure my kids could read, write, or compute basic mathematics the way I made sure they could read, write, or compute basic mathematics. In fact, the lovely village representative, that my second-grade son gave a wreath to during Christmas, sent home a thank you note with the word wreath spelled REEF. “Thank you for the Christmas REEF.” True story. Still have the note.

Biggest Payoff: The village kids at our house grew up and moved out; they became healthy, solidly middle class, and wise, and then they came home with fourteen new members for the Zern family village. 

Best Kept Secret: Another word for village is family.

Linda (Village Elder) Zern 
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