In a tiny village, far, far away, there was a man. And in this same tiny village, not so far, far away from this man, was a woman. Odds kept them apart for many years. Actually, their entire early long story lives. The man had never heard this woman’s name ever uttered. This woman had never even heard rumors of this man. Funny thing, those small villages. They may be small but not all the villagers necessarily know each others business.
Until one day, despite and because of their perspective long stories, they met.
This man, he fell in love with this woman. This woman. She fell in love with this man.
A few months later they decided to wed.
To them, this was joyous. A reason for celebrating.
To others, not so much.
But that is in the long part of the story. This, my beloved readers, is going to be the short story within the long of this man and woman and the villages from which they came.
Months after the couple, who were very much in love indeed, were united in holy matrimony. They decided that they wanted a child of their own. To complete the union. To join the ends of the chapters of two separate long stories to create a full circle. A new long story. Joined.
One chilly evening, sometime between dusk and dawn, a child was conceived.
They were delighted.
They shared their news excitedly with the other villagers.
The announcement was met with grunts, groans and all around dismay. Each villager had a different reason why this child should not be.
This confused the couple. How could anyone greet the news of a upcoming birth with such negativity? Especially because of how they loved each other and pieces of their long stories so completely.
The couple was sad.
But that was short lived.
One cold morning, in mid-winter, their child came screaming and suckling into the world.
They were overjoyed.
Others in the village just weren’t all that interested.
They made the appropriate ooos and aaahhs. For a short time. They held the infant and blessed him with their kisses.
But they withheld something far more important.
Their true and real love. Which they seemed to give, unconditionally, to other members of their village.
The man and woman. They didn’t understand how this could be.
It broke their hearts which loved this child so completely. How could their village, the ones they were raised and nurtured so lovingly in, almost completely shun the product of their union?
Oh, don’t get me wrong, dear readers. There were a few villagers who showed this child true and consistent love as the child grew. And for that, the man and woman are forever grateful.
But sadly, as that child grew older, he began to realize that there were villagers he wanted to see, to touch, to love. And he began longing for those he couldn’t have. Those who didn’t want him.
The man and women felt helpless. They stared at their hands. Nothing could be done. After all, you can’t force a village to open it’s gates without starting a war.
But the man and woman. They knew, despite the lack of warmth and embrace from their village, that they were strong and capable.
They knew that their child. Without any support from their villages. Would be raised with lips, arms and minds. And this child will grow up brave, intelligent and strong. And will rise above the these villages that didn’t truly acknowledge even the slightest existence .
Because this child is living proof that the only village needed to raise a child is one with a mother and father and siblings who are there, unconditionally. Loving, supporting, taking care of each other.
The bond created between these parents and that child is a secure knot which cannot be undone.
Hopefully, someday. When the child is grown. He will see and understand.
And hopefully, someday. He will not want what he could not have.
Because he will have had more than he could have ever wanted.
And that, my fair readers, is why it doesn’t always have to or need to take a village to raise a child.
Tara R. says
The beginning of this story will forever break my heart, but I have no doubt that it will have a gloriously happy ending for the child.
Sometimes we have to step away from the village we know and form our own- a new home surrounded by new villagers to love and support us.
Sounds like you are doing the best you know how.
I have to disagree. I was raised by ‘the villiage’ dozens of people who helped with my care and gave me advice as elders. This is so important. My son was also raised for the first 10 years of his life by ‘the villiage’ after he lost that support he gained a bad attitude, he is a good kid, but his temper could be adjusted. Children need the love and support of more than 2 people in their lives. How lonely would that child be… I hope that while the village in this story did not approve of the union or the child that they still help out. Otherwise I can only hope that this child has the spirit to grow in a good way and not be bitter.
Perfectly said. I never believed in that “takes a village” stuff anyway.
Also? Its their loss.
As long as the home is loving, secure, and nurturing, it’s all good!
Miss Behavin says
One can only hope that these villagers never need anything, like, say a cup of sugar or a kidney…because I truly believe that anyone who makes a conscious decision to demoralize a child deserves a special place in hell.
Im thinking that this child may not know the difference since his “village” has a mom, dad, sisters and brothers, maybe some aunts and uncles, friends, and friends parents, so to me this child does have a villiage…just maybe not the man and woman had in mind??? Just another way of looking at it:) 🙂 I have a small village myself since my dad is an only child and my mom only one sister who is not close…so to me…my village was great! To others it may look small and lonely but I never saw it that way. Depends on the perspective:)
Mommy X says
These days the village is a thing of the past, I fear. I think that collective selfishness has become all too common. Therefore, we need to create our own village, like Susan says. With all due respect to Juanita, sometimes not having “the village” is beyond our control. The other thing is, I believe that a child grows up knowing what they know and they don’t know what they don’t have. I’m not an authority…and maybe that is just hopefulness….but I do think that if the child has the unconditional love of his parents, he or she will make it just fine. The village is a “nice to have” but not a total requirement. My two cents.
Miss Britt says
I don’t know…
I think, sometimes, when our own villages don’t take us in the way we hoped, we just find new villages.
Kami Lewis Levin says
ooh, I like what Miss Britt said.
Melissa, this story is sad. But the boy is so fortunate. And the man and the woman are so fortunate. As are the siblings. Because as hard as it can sometimes be to “go it alone” (and I speak from experience), the rewards are tremendous and the love forged is genuine and profound.
I’d love to hear the long version someday.
I’d like to believe that the boy grew to know that he didn’t need the entire village.He already had everything and everyone he needed. I think we all find our own “village” no matter how big or small, to thrive in. If it’s not the village we were raised in, it’s another one we’ve created. Love and nurturing are so very important and this boy has it.
We make our own villages! And to those selfish others who can’t be arsed to see beyond their own neat little village I’d say a big fat “bugger off” to them.
Lauren @ MOMMY IS ROCK N ROLL says
Make your own village! Your son is loved. The rest isn’t important.
If we can create a new village or find another one without having the bad taste of the original village in our mouths, we’ll do fine. It doesn’t have to be large, but I think we do need more than each other.
Aunt Becky says
The village doesn’t have to be filled with relatives.
beautiful. And just remember – we are all in your village too.