Because Even Alanis Morissette Knows It Takes a Village

Today’s post is all about saying thank you. To just about everybody within arm’s reach of my daily life.

As I wrote it, I couldn’t get this song out of my head. It’s perfect. So picture me singing it to you. But not naked.

That’s just tacky, Alanis.

I’ve been off the grid a bit lately. But with good reason. My friend and writing partner Mel and her husband Chris came to visit me in New Orleans this past weekend. And, as luck would have it, Dave was (characteristically) out of town. Additionally, my mom was (uncharacteristically) out of town. Even my brother was already entertaining visitors of his own. That left only my poor dad to help me with the kids. (I sure love that dude. We’ll get to him in a minute.)

The bottom line is … I was reminded of lucky I am to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people on a daily basis. Without these “sister wives,” the delicate, Jenga-quality house of cards I created for myself and my kids this weekend would not have been possible. Let’s take a look at some of these incredible people, shall we?

  • Thank you, Erin, for taking Dean to his school’s homecoming football game … and then overnight that evening … and then to his basketball game the next day … and then overnight again that next night. (Seriously, he was starting to look like you guys.)
  • Thank you, Tara, for sending me updates during Vivien’s volleyball games. Your texts made me feel like I was sitting right there next to you, eating those nasty concession stand nachos. Again. (When will I ever learn?)
  • Thank you, Mignon, for taking Vivien to her school’s Halloween Trunk or Treat festivities. Viv came home with so much candy that I suspect you may have stuffed some of your kids’ stash in her bag. (Somewhere, our family dentist is smiling.)
  • Thank you, Virginia, for bringing Dean home from his basketball game on Saturday … and for offering to be his “emergency contact” all afternoon … and for understanding we couldn’t drive carpool Monday morning. Especially considering I forgot to tell you and almost left your boy sitting alone on the front stoop all morning. (Oops.)
  • Thank you, Ashley, for chauffeuring Vivien back and forth to the birthday party. I’m pretty sure you brought home a carload of shaving cream-covered girls. And so I thank you. (As does my car.)
  • Thank you, Vanessa, for keeping Viv entertained all evening at your child’s birthday party. She had a blast. And I think she really needed it because she was starting to get a little homesick. (Plus there was cake.)
  • Thank you, Vicky, for inviting Viv over on Sunday afternoon. By going to your house, she managed to dodge both a small football party and her brother’s basketball game. (And I’m sure she was totally broken up about it.)

And before I forget, BIG thanks go out to my dad who …

  • picked up Viv early from school Friday and drove 20 miles away to her citywide volleyball playoffs
  • dropped her off to Mignon Friday night
  • received her after the event and had her over for a sleepover
  • hosted a four-hour homework marathon the next day
  • came back to my house Saturday to see Dean off to his friend’s house for the night and Viv off to her party
  • returned again on Sunday (now with my mom who was back in town … Thanks, Mom!) to take Dean to his basketball game
  • had the kids spend the night Sunday night
  • took Dean to school Monday morning while my mom took Viv

Thank you, Mom and Dad. But mostly Dad.

(I’m killing my mom right now. She’s typically there for me with bells on 24/7/365.)


I know families who employ this “village parenting” method all the time. And I don’t know how they do it. I, for one, am absolutely exhausted just recounting all of this careful and calculated choreography. One false move and the whole structure would have come crashing down.

Thank you, village people. I love you guys.

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9 responses to “Because Even Alanis Morissette Knows It Takes a Village

  1. I think it’s cool how the song ended just as I finished reading the post. Great synchronizing, Awesome village you have there.

  2. Michele, what a beautiful post. You’re going to have to rest up.

  3. I’d like to thank your Dad too. Not only did he do all of the above during our visit but he even squeezed in some time to watch the football game with me so I wouldn’t be watching it all alone. AND…he didn’t even rub it in (too badly) when the Saints won 🙂 Can I adopt your Dad?

  4. I agree with Wy. I’m sure you are there for your friends as well when they need you. (And yay for a visit from Mel and Chris, as well!) 🙂

  5. It’s always good to stop and practice a little gratitutde. PS I really needed some Alanis in my life today, so Thank YOU.

  6. When my mom was still alive she was my go to like that. It didn’t hurt she lived right behind us. I am glad it all came into place and everyone pitched in for you. It is great when we have that around us isn’t it.

  7. We were amazed at the network of support you have. Such great people. Thanks for taking time with us. And thanks to the ODNT Entourage! (And for the great big hug, Gigi.)

    We had a blast. You’re an excellent tour guide. Love you, friend!

  8. I hadn’t been to Florida in four years. I did not feel guilty. But I AM very sorry I couldn’t visit longer with Mel and Chris. AND, Virginia, it’s thanks to ME that your son made it to class on Monday !!!!!

  9. You’ve got a terrific village. Hope you guys had a wonderful weekend!

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