There is an old proverb at says it takes a village to raise a child, and Hillary Clinton brought the phrase back into vogue in the past decade. I’ve mentioned before that I have these basically pretty wonderful kids. They’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and quite frequently, they’re kind of jerky, but on the whole, they’re really good kids.
They’ve been studying karate since they were 6 years old and are working toward their third degree black belts. They babysit, one has a part time job, they participate on school athletic teams, and in fact, my son excels at track and karate, they’re taking drivers ed this summer and are members of their school’s marching band. My daughter was inducted into the French Honor Society, and last night, the National Honor Society.
Everybody keeps saying that I’m doing a wonderful job with them, and yes to a point, it is me. I’m a single parent and their dad is not in their lives at all, so all the parenting falls to me. But I was thinking last night, it’s not just me. Like I said, my kids have been studying karate since they were 6 years old. They’ve been at the same school, with the same instructors since then. My kids look upon their instructors as family, and they are actually treated like family by them.
We’ve also made some incredible friends at karate. Friends that we socialize with. My kids have grown up babysitting the younger children of some of these friends. These people have become, well if not part of our family, part of our village. Now that drivers ed time has arrived, two of the “karate dads” have stepped up and offered to do some of the driving time with my kids. And I know without a doubt that while my kids are with them, they will be polite and respectful. And if on the off chance they’re not and revert to typical teenage behavior, I know the “karate dads” will step up and proverbially knock them upside the head.
So sure, I’m a good parent – I don’t always think I am, but I must be doing something right, but the best thing I ever did was find the right village. Thanks to everyone in our village for your part in making my kids rock.