Two weeks ago, my Husband’s cousin took his first journey into adulthood and stepped foot on his University campus. With this young man going off into new adventures, I can’t help but think of how his village helped to raise and keep him on the right path. I think of how I’m a part of that village.
Mark, who we affectionately call “Uda” has been in my life for the past 13 years. I still remember the first time I met him. He was all cuteness, wearing underwear and staring at me with wonder and concern in his eyes. I was the girl that bewitched his big cousin. Eventually, he opened up to me and with every interaction, he’d eagerly tell me about the new dinosaur he learned about in school, or a science experiment he was dying to try. He was little and impressionable and moldable. He was raised to appreciate those that loved and supported him. He’s a graduate with honors. He’s a gentleman and award-winning athlete. He’s a direct result of what a community can create.
Over a month ago, his wonderful mother threw him an open house. Even I was amazed at the amount of people that showed up, not only to bid him farewell, but to take note of what they had been a part of in this young man’s life. We dined together, prayed together and shed a few tears. As a whole, we knew what believing in a child can accomplish. We’d all raised a son and supported two determined and caring parents.
As we send off our little ones to school during these recent weeks, we as parents can’t help but imagine what life will be like once our small ones are on their way to the next stage of their life. Will they take heed to what their elders teach them or will they need to learn life lessons on their own? Only time will tell. But one thing is for certain, it takes a village and that village needs to be a strong one.