Thursday, March 25, 2010

Loving our Village

I think our firstborn was about two hours old before we latched on to the old African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child."
Yes, indeed.
We're pretty grateful for ours.
It's no secret that my boys have a stellar dad.
But all their lives, family and friends have come alongside and shown genuine interest in Bran and Hud, shaping our boys' character along the way.
Papa and Cappy and all the uncles laid the groundwork the moment these kids were born and continue to do so. But just in the last week, spending time with a couple of families, I was touched by the TIME a couple of friends took with Branson in particular.

The kids and I spent Spring Break in Houston with my dear college roommate's family. We took advantage of a few days together, and the Hills were gracious to host our crew. But somehow, squeezed between his own work schedule and the chaos of movies and charades and rainy-day walks, Eric took time out for Bran. To listen, laugh, and get smeared at XBOX. And to play Bran's favorite songs (already on E's ipod) while dancing like a crazy man around the kitchen island before and after meals.
Several times a day.
Clearly, being with Eric was one of Bran's absolute highlights of our time with the Hills. When not attached at the hip to ten-year-old Adeline, he hung with Mr. Eric and soaked up all the coolness he could. After our last breakfast, Eric looked Bran in the eye and paid him a genuine compliment. And guess what - my boy's eyes teared up.
So did Mommy's.
Oh come on, I can't let anyone cry by themselves.

Wilson and Hill kiddos

Eric & Kristin with their charming girls

So we returned from Houston to our home full with the Wolfes - seven, to be exact. That plus our six - do the math - transforms the Wilson home into a par-tay.
And yet the same thing happened. Even with FIVE of his own boys running around, Chris (several times) initiated throwing the baseball with Bran in the front yard. And the timing was perfect. Bran was on the cusp of his first game, more than a little nervous about pitching, and Chris stepped in to coach and encourage and build him up. A tremendous lift.
Branson is named after "Uncle" Chris

Corbin and Chris with the four older Wolfe boys
Chris & Sarah with their handsome crew

I can't tell you what it does to my heart to see these great men take a genuine interest and initiate spending time with my boys.
So to Eric and Chris, a sincere thank you.
Thankful for our village, and that for the last couple of decades you have been such a part of ours.