Sunday, April 27, 2014

It Takes a Village...

A screen shot of our GHO on my phone
Today was another day circled on the calendar. Another obligation. Another family function. Another moment that I otherwise take for granted. We are fortunate to have such an amazing support circle and true to form, my son's baptism today was another outpouring of love from our family and friends.

There was something missing though. My sister, who now lives in Italy, is 8 months pregnant and obviously could not fly to be with us today. She and her husband are the godparents. So we did something no one would have dreamed of years ago- we had a Google Hangout and they were were able to see, hear, and share in our special moment. The church could hear them respond when our priest asked them if they were willing to accept responsibly for raising our son in the faith. There's power in that- being 4,651 miles away- yet still, connected.

We are very lucky and very blessed in so many ways. It shouldn't take moments like these to admit that. My son is fortunate to have a village of people raising him. Many of us can probably say the same thing about own own children and families. Unfortunately, for some families, this is far from the case.

I think about my students in times like these. I know for some of our kids, the school is their extended family. Their classmates function as their support circle. Some of their teachers act as mother, father, brother or sister. There's power in that, too.

Maybe it's easier that way. What if we all treat each other like they are a member of our family who is counting on our support. We could recognize that no family is perfect and that all families are different. Members of the family sometimes drift and we could pull them back in.  Other's aren't in the family, but we treat them like the closest of blood relatives. But that's what family is.

School is family- and it takes a village to raise the family's children.

Our school community doesn't ask for this service, we provide it for them. We owe it to our students to be "en loco parentis," and accept them into our circle of support. My personal priorities certainly are shifting these days as I spend a lot more of my free time taking care of my son. But I want to make sure that Diego, Jay, and Stephanie are taken care of- because in a sense- they are family too.