I don’t think it matters if you have one child, a baker’s dozen, or any number in between; raising your children and being a family is one of life’s greatest adventures. For my husband and I, we have learned that in the joys, the struggles, and the in-betweens of this great adventure, parenting our four-year-old son is something we do better in community.

This Mother’s Day, I reflected with deep gratitude on the village that supports us as we raise our son:

  • My parents, Oma & Opa, who shower him with unconditional love, patience, and candies.
  • “Mama-Neen”, our beloved and talented childcare provider who gave our son the best possible “home away from home” when I went back to work.
  • Our siblings and their spouses, who with their children give my son a safe space, an opportunity to wait his turn, let him make mistakes, lose at games, and sit on the grass to eat popsicles together.
  • Aunt Tina, who pre-COVID travelled once a year from Ontario to come and spoil us with her presence.
  • Our church family, near and far, who shares our responsibility to nurture his faith and teach him about God.
  • His wonderful preschool teachers who bring silly songs, crafts, and a love for learning into his life.
  • Our friends who patiently listen to nonsensical “knock-knock” jokes, join us for walks along the river, teach him how to drive golf carts, pass on their outgrown toys and clothes, and send their teenagers over to babysit.

I am profoundly thankful and deeply humbled to see how God has given us people that bring love and support into our family. The collective strength of this community, “the village,” gives our son a place to flourish.

Expanding Our Village

In September, my son will start kindergarten. A whole new chapter in the adventure. I’ve been warned that “once they start kindergarten, it goes fast.” That actually sounds terrifying because it already feels like time is flying. But I’m so excited that this fall my family gets to include the people of Abbotsford Christian School in our village.

For the last 10 years I’ve been on the school side of this community and I’ve loved every minute of it (except for perhaps a few COVID-19 notifications every now and again—sigh).

  • I had the opportunity to see how teachers speak into the lives of students.
  • I experienced the work of the Holy Spirit in chapel.
  • I witnessed the genuine love our staff has for the children in their care.
  • I’ve seen new friendships amongst the children grow.
  • I’ve been a part of staff devotions where we prayed together for our school families.
  • I’ve watched children make a difference in the world.
  • I’ve been blessed by the families that call our school “home.”

And now it’s our turn. I can’t wait!