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.