It Takes a Village: What to do when the village disappears?

People say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’d say the saying is true. The problem is in our society, the village is gone. Who wants to help anyone?  It is a sad fact. And of course, I won’t take help from someone who is abusive to me or thinks I am not a good person. Nor will I drop thousands of dollars while bringing home nothing for someone I don’t know to raise my offspring. So, I am trying to build my own village because I can’t burn the two people out who I count on, but that’s just not easy in today’s day and age.  Why?


There’s a billion reasons. Some people are simply out for themselves or are lazy. Some people are busy and overextended…people who are working to simply keep a roof over their heads. Or the people who need to keep up with the Jonses: working to death in order to buy overpriced gas-guzzling large vehicles and unnecessary gadgets. What would they do without the updated insert technological device?  For whatever reason, people just aren’t around in today’s society. 

It used to be that one could expect reliable help without even asking from extended and immediate family members, even people in the neighborhood, but our society has strayed from the family unit and moved towards the individual unit. We are the “ME ME ME” country; Americans value the individual over the group in every fathomable way. 

So while I truly  love many of the modern conveniences parenting in the millenium has given me, I feel a sense of envy for those who parent/parented with a village behind them. It makes life better. This is not to say that I easily would relinquish control over my kid to anyone. Oh no, I am protective for sure, but back in the day, the family./community unit was so tight, people did not struggle like they do today. This is why childcare has been relegated to the private sector: it’s a business. Kids today barely know who their neighbors are. While I didn’t know each and every one of my neighbors well, I knew mostly everyone, and some well. Who can say that in today’s society? No wonder parents are so stressed. We have forgotten the family unit. We have forgotten what counts.


Everything changes, yet everything stays the same.

As a teacher, I see teenagers often, and I can’t help but laugh to myself when I see one wearing a rock t-shirt or a funky hairdo, or even just black nail polish. Nothing changes. I did that. People before me did that. And People before those “People” did it too. Fashion rebellion that is simply a repeat of other rebellions before you.
I miss rebelling.
There is nothing more boring than mommy clothes. Comfortable yes, but boring, hell to the yes. How can snot stained, smushed food, cried on clothes be interesting? These celebrities that look so polished look polished because they don’t do much hands on activities with their children.
This said, I thought I might pay homage to some of my interesting fashion choices.
Like fringe jackets? What the fuck was I thinking? Suede fringe jackets like I was a damn Native American smoking the peace pipe. Really, truly, just a fashion no-no that should stay in the closet forever.
What about that terrible black eyeliner? I mean, a little black eyeliner works, but the whole “around the eye” look made me look like I had been doing heroin. I wasn’t. I was too busy doing self-deprecation. When you are as pale as me, you are better off not ringing your eyes with black so you can look like a street junkie.

Or what about that terrible flannel phase? Was I a lumberjack? A male pioneer from Little House on the Prairie? No, I was a teenage girl the size of a tall midget wearing baggy flannel. A terrible, awful, no-good t-shirt!

I’d like to mock my combat boots, but they were actually good in all weather-terrain, and great nut-kickers, so to my combat boots, I salute you!
Any heavy metal t-shirt I wore was also pretty horrific. Skulls are not cute, nor are skulls with eyeballs protruding out. Some could debate this, but I for one feel they should be buried forever and ever…infinity!

Also, the knee-high boots! I know those came back in fashion but, seriously? I wasn’t Robin Hood or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I also wasn’t trudging along wading water. Those things were hideous.

I thought I was being different. My friends thought they were being different. We weren’t. We were teens trying to find themselves, and the same looks pass themselves on generation after generation. I had a student look at me oddly when I asked if he was wearing an AC/DC t-shirt. What, like I wouldn’t know the band? He wasn’t even born when “Those about to Rock” came out. Yet like every teen before and after him, we all felt like those songs, bands, or albums…or fashion styles were meant for us, and only us. That no one else could understand or live through what we were living through. And for some of us, we were truly living through some bad stuff.
I will never forget what it felt like to be 15. Maybe that’s why I’m a good teacher.