Have you read that article by Bunmi Laditan about missing the village of women, that she never had, to raise the children together? If not, you can read it here.
One of my friends sent it to me and a few others that she felt were part of her village and it helped me examine what I have.
A few weeks ago, I had messaged a small handful of women who I felt were part of my village to see if they wanted to can tomatoes together. Unfortunately, the bumper crop of tomatoes never came in, so we never had the chance to work together. But then one friend called me when she found a bumper crop of apples and did I want to try making jam?
Three moms and six children huddled in one afternoon to make jam. And it felt like the village experience that Ms. Laditan was missing. One of the moms was experienced in jam making and in canning, so passed that knowledge on to me and the other mom. Periodically, one of us would go check on the children (generally based on who’s cry it was!). We laid out all our food for all the children to try and munch as they happily played amongst each other – losing track of who was sibling or older/younger.
And we canned (or as dear husband calls it, jarring) food to give as gifts or to sustain our family.
I was telling my mom about it, and she has awful memories of canning, as a teenager, in August, which makes perfect sense. Who, at 14, would want to sit in a boiling hot room cutting up fruit? But, for right now, at 36, I told my mom about this village. This village I had been finding around me for the last two years (well, actually one of the moms I had been friends with for closer to 15 years). This village of moms that are all trying to raise their children the best way they can. This village of moms that I’m learning from and learning about, that are shaping me into the mom I’m becoming and the children I’m raising. I’m so grateful for this village and the moms and children that are a part of it.