I remember using this phrase in a speech I was preparing for Minister once.
It was promptly rejected - political heads tend to avoid this somewhat trite phrase people have come to be associated with the utterance of Hillary Clinton in a speech she made in Chicago in 1996 by the same title "It takes a village to raise a child".
For us, though, the friends in our lives have come to matter a lot. And we hope they will be an enduring presence in the life of DM - nothing brings this home more than during this Lunar New Year season.
Admittedly, E. and I don't quite buy into the idea of making CNY visits special - friends are welcome in our home any time of the year, and it shouldn't take the lunar new year to remind us to remember them. All too often, we hear the honest confessions too, of how friends who are single, unmarried, or childless get tired of friendly enquiries from relatives. Ourselves, as new parents, also get no end of "friendly advice" on bringing up baby.
I suppose CNY is really a time for us to remember to temper our conversations with grace, and season them with salt (not just from the copious amounts of "bak kua" and pineapple tarts consumed this period of time!).
At the same time, I can't help but recall with gratitude all the things that our family and friends bless us with. Especially for little Dylan, who can thank them for his clothes, his milk bottles, his bottle sterilizer, the baby moses basket, his beloved baby gym, and so much more!
An aside on CNY:
My personal prayer this year is for my own grandmother and mother's side of relatives to come to know the Lord. It is a challenge for me, as a non-Teochew speaking and very junior member of the extended family. Last Sunday evening, especially, I had hoped for a chance to broach the subject with my Aunt and grandma at her place, but the house was overrun with cousins and screaming children (and baby DM), so it just didn't happen.
Anyhow, here are some photos of our friends who kindly put up with DM's crying and fussing.
Uncle Jonathan's visit last Thursday saw DM getting a cute new T-shirt:
picture with Uncle Jon:
Aunties Swee Keng, Sumei and Joanna:
What's really special to us, also, the morning picnic at the beach with Aunty Weng Khay, baby Noah, Aunty Chern Ee, Charity, Luke and Laura - though sadly we didn't take any photos with them here: