Something like a Duck

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's not a cat

It Takes a Village

…to raise an Idiot.

Once upon an African proverb, we learned that it takes so much more than immediate family to nurture our young. A child has to have the influence of friends and teachers and boogeymen to shape their character. We protect them, loving them most when they deserve it least. We guide them, offering direction when they are aimless. We teach them perseverance and sustainability, promising a chance for survival.  Cue “We are the World” because this is about to happen: Our children are our efforts because they are inevitably our future.

Let that sink in for a second…it’s going to make you sigh and then probably shudder.

Although the children are just so super great, this post needs to be about me…hence the whole ‘idiot’ thing.

My village is a little village of great heart.

There are those who have always been here. My parents, my siblings, my first stalker (it was a playground romance gone bad)…They have been my support through so much pain (that they, of course, inflicted. They are a duplicitous sort of people). I grew up knowing that they loved me, even when it was hard to like me. Mostly because they had to (na-na-nah-boo-boo) or else Abuela would pinch them. With time, the people in my home became more than just family. There was a father that traded his sweat and tears to love me when the other of blood could not. He became a secret hero. There was my sister who grew up too fast and still smiled even covered in dust. She became my absolute best friend. The other one who fluttered by in the breeze for too long, then settled at last like a feather on water. She taught me to exist beyond the whisper’s of others. There was a mother who gave more than she had, and took less than her worth, for the sake of others. She is an inspiration. My little Big brother wandered into a war, returned broken yet brave, and spawned a whirlwind of success amidst chaos. He has become a standard of strength- both physically and spiritually. And my Abuela (my grandmother) *sigh*  she is the heart that toils constantly to give life to us all. This is my immediate bundle of abodes.

But then there are the others. Not the Nicole Kidman kind of ‘Others’, but the ones that I have gathered along the way. My family of friends that have set up shop in my village. There is the neighbor who opened her door when I knocked, loaded with crazies and cupcakes and danced too late into the night with. There is the crazy roommate who lingers as a lasting loiterer. There is the most familiar stranger who is the best dancing muse; her every word of wisdom sprinkled in my dialogue. And then there is that family who adopted my family to make a better family of weirdos. They run the funnest of B&B’s.

My village is home to happiness. When everything inside of me cracks like cheap wood, they are strong. They make a place in their busy lives to learn our ‘ways’ so that abnormal and normal can blur together in a haze. I knew they belonged inside the walls of my world long before catastrophe struck, but I did not realize how.

I never shy away from learning…something new must saturate my brain daily. Within the last year, I have made complete leaps in regards to proprietary intellect . Any and every medical term, research trial, and/or treatment theorem has not escaped me. But my emotional precedence can be questioned far too often. My feelings become flatulent… unmistakably necessary for relief, but painfully ‘brown’ in passing.  *This will be the quote most referenced in my future success. Marks my words…*

Good sense evades me in manic moments and I am, at once, all the fool. My village, this family I have, comes to my rescue. They raise me up to be strong. They raise me to be light-hearted, hopeful, and motivated. Sometimes they raise me to be a wino, but that’s okay because they also raise me to be a super great porcelain potty inspector …’cuz that’s what my head was doing in there. Really. Really really.

The point is this…I don’t have it all together. I cannot do it on my own. I am not always the best informed even if my intentions are the best. No one does. No one ever should. The moment you are completely self-sufficient and self-involved, that moment where you put on your inflatable muscles and lie to yourself that you are strong enough on your own, by yourself, without a family of supporters, WITHOUT YOUR VILLAGE that is the moment you are the hopeless Idiot.

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