It takes a village to raise a child. At least that's what I hear. I'm not quite sure most of us can put that to the test because most of us don't live in a village any more. It's not 1892 and I'm not living in eastern Europe. So maybe my saying can be, "It takes a city" or "It takes a concrete jungle."
My friends signed up for mealtrain.com which is a calendar on which people can say they will bring over food for new parents. If you're going to be a parent, ask for food. If your friend is expecting, bring them food. It was a great idea from my shower organizer. It is great to see friends, let them meet the babies, ask them to hold the babies while I showered, shaved, got dressed and transformed from a hideous, unkempt, hairy, smelly, disheveled, crying adult in the fetal position to the handsome, clean-shaven, deodorant wearing, beautifully coiffed prince that I am. (Yes, I said I'm a prince. Just nod your head and let me have my moment.)
First of all, I found out my friends are some great cooks. I ate vegetarian sloppy joes, pasta salad, Mexican fajitas, stuffed shells, an orzo dish, baked ziti, french toast, a lentil pot pie type thing and more. Yum!
But besides my happy and filled tummy, I found out how much my friends and community care about me. People drove through Chicago traffic in rush hour to bring food to Derek and me, kept us company and let us sleep. One amazing friend brought in food when the kids were about a week old. She called asking what I wanted. While half asleep I mumbled something into the phone asking for some bananas and apples and got an entire fruit stand's worth of produce. Friends also brought me moving boxes for packing, Drano, and vitamins. They washed bottles, offered to do my laundry and talked to me on the phone to keep me company or just keep me awake.
I am just floored by how much love and support I get from my friends. I have friends from college who have stuck with me for years and I love them for that. I have friends from my theater work. Most of them I worked with once for 3-4 months and have developed friendships that have lasted for years. It's a wonderful thing to find a friend who quickly who turns into a part of your life for so long. But I have to say that the support that surprised me the most has to be my interpreting community. As a freelance interpreter, I don't see the same people day to day. Some interpreters I work with pretty often. Other interpreters I work with once in a while. Some peers I literally only see a couple times a year. And yet so many of the interpreters from my work circle have cheered me on during my process to have a child and continued their support over this last month. My community comes together when there are births, weddings, deaths, and other big events in our lives. We are there for each other. Not everyone gets to say nice, positive things about co-workers and get warm fuzzies from them. I'm lucky I can and do. I feel like I'm part of a great community. I feel like I'm a friend to people more than I realize which is so touching. I feel like I'm part of a village.