Starting a Village

Enough is enough. I'm starting a village.

This is hard. The days are long and sometimes the nights are even longer. I often wonder how other people are doing it. I think the short answer is, they aren't. They are faking it, just like I am.

I'm done faking it. I'm inviting people into my messy kitchen, pointing out the junk drawer. I'm inviting them to join my village. Because, that is what is at the root of the isolation and the loneliness of modern parenting, we are all hiding our messy kitchen, our four year-old's paci, our bag of Doritos.  Our shame is the barricade between us and our chances at community. 



There are a handful of people in my life that are already in my village, the people who say yes when they can, the people who call on me for help, and I treasure them. They know all about my messy kitchen, and have invited me into theirs. But I seem to run across, on a daily basis, people who are too busy judging to help, or people who are too busy hiding to be helped.

Enough. I'll show you mine, if you show me yours. My house is never as clean as I want it to be. My clothes are all shoved into random drawers. There are always dishes in my sink. We currently have an old Star Wars bed sheet tossed over the TV because we told O it was "broken". I bought O and P a snack pack of Keebler cookies each at the grocery store the other day, just so I could drive the last fifteen minutes of my day in peace. I am often short tempered, usually when, in retrospect I realize, they needed my kindness and patience the most.

If you can live with all of that, then I am inviting you to join my village. Come be beautifully imperfect with me. Come try your best and enjoy the successes and failures that comes along with it. Come have dinner in my messy kitchen. Come share a bottle of wine on my back porch. Let's parent together. Let's share the load. 

The only rules: help when you can, and remember everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, so be kind.

Oh, and I might ask you to watch my kids for a few hours every now and then.

Now accepting applications. 

Learning Through the Camera Lens

O: I'm gonna take a picture. No! Not of you, of the pretty flowers.

I've had my camera for a little over two months now and, while I've learned a lot about aperture, shutter speed, and iso, the most interesting things I have learned have been about people. I've found that I am not very interested in taking pictures of landscapes or objects, but rather, I love taking candid photos of people.  

Everyone reacts differently to the camera. Some people sit up a little straighter and relax their face just so (I'm pretty sure this is where I fall).

Some people become so instantly self-conscious, taking their picture becomes nearly impossible.  

Some people just start making goofy faces.  

Some people, the lucky ones, have faces that fall into the most beautiful smile, without them even knowing it.


Some people have no problem just ignoring me and that camera altogether. They are my favorite.  

I'm learning a lot about people, but mostly, I'm learning that I need to be sneakier. 

Especially when I'm trying to take a picture of O.