I feel so honored to have been given the opportunity to share my stories with mothers and parents alike. The Village has been a BIG EXHALE on a brisk and humid day full of errands, liquid mishaps, and sweaty car seat naps with a precocious toddler in tow. Your stories are there, beside me in my car when I remember I’ve forgotten my book on the bedside table, and my son fell asleep on the way to the grocery store. You are there when I’m dyer for inspiration and an empathetic pick-me-up during the day’s beloved naptime. Your voices, your words, and your stories ring inside my heart as I’m living my own narration. When my son reaches milestones like self-feeding or reaching for the doorknob, you are there ahead of us, cheering us along the meandering paths of child rearing. When I read of your loss, I wipe up your tearful words in my own shirtsleeves. I live vicariously, my finger follows your spirited prose, and it encourages me to hug my baby closer, or hang on a moment longer for a kiss or a cuddle. Our time with our children is not linear, it is not promised, and there are varying degrees of forever.
You my friends have taught me that.
We reach across the ocean(s) and continent(s) to offer friendships and email exchanges about our drastically different lives. We follow one another’s colorful squares packed full of daily routines and celebratory life affirming moments. You have been present in my triumphs and challenges, encouraging me through our heaviest and most trying of days. You've been the voice of reason and wisdom, whether the first child or fifth, and remind us there will be a loss as we grow and make room in our hearts for another. I'm grateful for your honesty and your tenacity. Know that. Your words are telephoning their way through the ether, and I am here to say, I've been listening. I took notes and I quoted you verbatim to those closest in my life. Your courage is my mantra, and it has sewn up my weak and frayed edges. Through the throws of teething, dyer for sleep, and that strange Roseola rash, I had each of you on the other side of the screen catching my sorrows in a net of well-seasoned hindsight.
You asked me to trust my gut, and because of you I have no regrets.
I've celebrated your feeding victories and weight gaining baby bellies. I've rooted for you through your child's chemo or autism battle. I’ve sent all my goodness and hope and gratitude to the universe and asked the big vast sky to give you a set of stars to hang bright in your life to see you through into tomorrow. You don’t know me, but I'll spend all my mama days believing for you. I will listen more. I will make room for you on my couch and along my Instagram feed. We will pour a cup of something warm together and sit cross-legged on the hardwood with our little’s toddling or running about. I will tell you honestly how much I admire you despite your imperfections. We are raising and shaping the future by sharing our little poetic squares of adventure and stillness, and with every member of the tribe we usher in we are seasoning our children’s perspective.
You my friends have given us a Village, woven by love and honest intentions, to raise our children to be independent, thoughtful, and contributing members of the tribe.
And we are grateful to be included.
Sara Consolati, The Village Journalist