Recently, I was in Canada, doing a few TV interviews related to my new book The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You. It was a privilege that I didn't take lightly. Most authors never have the opportunity to travel to promote a book, let alone do so out of the country.
While was thrilled to be in Canada, being there meant I was not at home with my older children Elias and Adeline. My newborn Ezra traveled with me because, well, I'm his food source.
My kids are used to Mommy and Daddy traveling for work, but that week was different because we both were out of the country -- at the same time.
And while most trips fall during regular, mundane weeks, this time we missed a very special event at Elias's school. Something that our sweet kindergartener had been talking about for weeks.
His art show.
When I found out the art show was scheduled for while I was in Canada, I got a bit emotional. I firmly believe in the message of The Fringe Hours and knew that I was where I needed to be that week, but that didn't change the feeling of wishing I could be in two places at once.
It's a feeling I think every parent experiences at some point.
Elias didn't seem phased, thankfully. Nana can come, right? he asked. (My mom stayed with the kids while we are gone.)
I said, yes, of course Nana will be there.
Then I added, Aunt Angie is coming too.
Really?! His eyes lit up. Coooollll!
I had told my best friend Angie about the show and how we were going to be traveling during it. Without hesitation she responded, I'll come! Before I left town I texted her a message of thanks for her willingness to attend the show and that we hated that we were missing it.
Having a friend who is like a sister is a gift, and the way she loves my children is something I don't want to ever take for granted. She replied:
You're ministering and using your gifts... which teaches him to do the same with his art. That's the beauty. Community parenting FTW.
Community parenting FTW (for the win).
They say it takes a village to raise a child. And they are right.
Because no matter how hard we try, sometimes it isn't going to look like the perfect magazine spread. Sometimes our work will force us to be away. Sometimes we will be tired. Sometimes things will be messy (figuratively and literally).
Linking arms and doing this journey together is the best way to navigate parenting and life.
So let's embrace community parenting.
Let's love well.
Let's invite others into our mess.
Let's say I need help.
Let's teach our kids about friendship.
Let's not do this alone.
Because when we give of ourselves, we give the best gift. We win. Our loved ones win. Even strangers win.
Community parenting FTW indeed.