Village People and Root Friendships

Village People
Standing- L to R – Dave (Char’s dad), Rob and Crystal (Lauren and Allison’s parents) April my college roommate not part of the daycare but she’s still part of this village for sure (Lauren and Allison in front of them) and my husband John. Sitting- L to R Helen holding Char, Jenna holding Isabelle, Me holding Maggie, Alden and James Isabelle’s father.

I have never been a one best friend kind of person. I admire those people that are so devoted to each other and I used to wish I had that, but I think I got a pretty good package myself. I was told once that your husband cannot be your best friend. John ultimately is my best friend- I share my home- my bed- my secrets- my offspring- my finances- my everything with him. I don’t see how it can be seen the other way truthfully. I mostly have other girl friends. I only have one other guy friend to speak of really that I am closer to him than I am his partner. My most devoted friend for the last decade is Crystal, but my goodness my life is filled with second place best friends. I am so so blessed.

Lauren and Maggie napping together.
Lauren and Maggie napping together.

I get a little emotional.

I am in a position where there is so much reshaping that I have to give myself a second to regroup and take a deep breath. I have formed these amazing relationships over the last few years. My mentor in this process of me owning a daycare said to me, “Under no circumstances are you to become friends with your clients.” My response was, “Well then I’m screwed because I’m starting this business on the premise of an already solid friendship with Crystal.” My goal in this daycare was to be a trustworthy and faithful childcare provider when I lost my faith in humanity when a sitter we had made some very poor decisions. I needed to be home with my own children to insure that my children were safe. It was by far the best decision. I surrounded myself with some amazing families raising amazing children. My mentor warned that people would just not pay me some day and with friends I would be in a position to feel bad if they couldn’t pay. She warned of parents picking up late and not caring about my time and my home. The pay hasn’t been an issue- All of the parents of the children I watch are college graduates with professional jobs- nurse/lactation consultant, teacher, social worker, engineer, and IT specialist. They get paid and I get paid. Money is a non issue and they would never consider not paying me as an option. I charge a reasonable fee and they pay me that and a load of gratitude for the care that I give their precious ones.

An Oldie but a goodie

It’s a spark. 

baby char and alden
Alden holding baby Char

As I have been working through the emotions of this process in realizing that in less than six full months my daycare will close I get a little scared. I know friends who have children and they have friends with children, but I’m not sure that I can compare this to anything other than being an aunt. My nieces and nephews do this same thing to me so maybe other aunts and uncles out there can understand this comparison. On June 11, 2010, I closed my classroom door for the last time and road in the car to hold my new “job” in my hands. I arrived at the hospital to see my friend Crystal and her husband Rob. Lauren was placed in my hands for the first time. The spark I felt when Lauren was placed in my arms is the same thing I feel now when I hold her. It is a reminder of when God closed a window and opened a door into my future and guided me on a path to where I am now. Not too many people in your life give you that… it is simply untouchable. Then I held Allison, then I found Isabelle by responding to a craigslist ad and Charlotte through Isabelle. I would never have these children call me mom, but truth be told I am like a sistermom to them. I am much like an aunt to them. I’m not just a babysitter to them. I love them.

I crossed the line.

So I must apologize for not listening to my mentor. I crossed the line and I am so glad that I did. In crossing that line I created this amazing village of friends. I’ve had one parent arrive late for pick up. They felt horrible and paid me back by watching my kids overnight. Now we just keep trading back and forth. I watch hers and she watches mine and we get some time to ourselves without kids. What these women wouldn’t do for me… I’m not sure I can answer that. I’m sure they just thought of something totally inappropriate that they wouldn’t do and they are laughing amongst themselves. For my surgery they were the most amazingly supportive friends. They came to my room to check on me to see if I was okay. They cared for my family and my home while I recovered. They are my village people. It’s not just me standing in as the chief. They talk alone too. They watch each others children so the other one can go for a run or share clothes and household gadgets. They help each other in taking care of themselves from signing up for weight watchers together to training for a half marathon side by side. Sure sometimes we get on each others nerves like siblings would and that’s okay because it’s not a “perfect thing”. Just like anything natural sometimes it gets to be too much and you reel it in and regroup.

They are root friends

Take a little advice from Madea.

I’ve had some friends come and go over time and some fade in and out like the leaves. I’ve even had a few branches fall down, but this is root work here. Realizing that in the next six months our lives will change drastically is becoming a bigger pill to swallow, but we don’t really have a choice anymore. We’ve grown connected in the village of root friends and we will go from seeing each other daily and having the bond that we have be changed forever. We can’t take this back nor recreate it.

I think we’re like monkey grass though- you separate us at the roots and we will grow on our own. Separating us wont kill us, but the transplant will give us distance from each other that is unavoidable.

Sisterwives- Bromances- SisterMoms- BrotherDads- Siblings- ::Love::

“You don’t just say and do these things with just anybody”~ Jenna.

Originally, I was going to blog on making a village of friends, but I can’t tell you how to create a village. I can only tell you how much I have been blessed by it. It all started with me loving their children as much as my own even when they screamed in my face and bit their friends I still loved them. They knew it and could feel it. Who doesn’t want to drop off their children every day with someone who loves their children unconditionally and fully and will gripe about their day over a glass of wine on ladies craft night. More so the children love each other. The look on Charlotte’s face as she reaches for Allison in the mornings is a bond that melts my heart. When Lauren and Isabelle make each other giggle and they lean into each other and snuggle I’m still melting. The twins have that weird twin bond that is an entity of beauty all by itself. When Charlotte and Alden see each other and they embrace they both light up. If Maggie and Isabelle aren’t insulting each other about who can color better they are surely snuggled up sharing a blanket and talking about how they like like each others new earrings. It’s not to say there are never issues. We aren’t unrealistic… in fact we are quite real with each other. And truth be told we all just simply love each other and our families. 

But it’s good enough for granddad and it’s good enough for me. 

~ April ~


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