Village Is a Magical Place!
I had to laugh when I told Elizabeth Nolen I would write this “article,” as I was thinking back to one of my first memories of Village. I was a student at Prairie Elementary and remember my mom and me coming to a class about “the birds and the bees,” which incidentally worked well, because 15 years later, I was sitting in the same room with my husband attending a class on Love and Logic Parenting. Now, tell me where else can you do this?
Three years ago, we moved back to Kansas City from Arizona to our same house and quickly
wanted our children to feel acclimated and make friends. I remember calling Patty Zender (former director of the Preschool Program) and asking a million questions about the preschool and would they have room for our then almost 3-year-old daughter, Emilie. Emilie had an awful experience in Arizona so we were beyond cautious and nervous as we tried to find a good fit for her here. Patty was very patient and kind and assured me that it would work out. Emilie loved her teachers and Ben and I let out a big sigh of relief. This was the beginning of being “Village-ized,” the feeling that things were meant to be.
We were lucky enough to get our then 1½-year-old daughter Katie in the KDO program the following spring after she turned 2, and that allowed me some time to be with my sweet baby James alone. Being able to have two hours a week to myself was beyond comprehension to me at that time. Adult conversation or time to catch up on my e-mail was amazing! And, knowing that our children were getting a wonderful social experience as well meant the world! The feeling of being “village-ized” was again setting in … the feeling that all things would settle down and all would be o.k.
Through my daughter Emilie’s class, I met a dear friend who introduced me to Presbyterian Women Circle 4. I have had more time in the last year to really enjoy it and am so thankful. I do not have a strong religious background by any stretch of the imagination, but I always walk away with something from Circle. I don’t ever feel out of place or like I don’t have something to share. It is something that I feel like I can do for myself and not feel guilty because I know my children are having fun too!
My husband and I (neither of us regular churchgoers) began going to church every Sunday. It has done wonders for us, our marriage and our family. We feel like it is a great way to get centered after a busy week and to prepare for what the next week has in store. We always enjoy Tom Are’s, sermons and what a gift he has to give us something to think about and take away. As my husband says, “Village is a magical place.” Our children love the Sunday school and Morning Stars programs. We listen to the Morning Stars CDs all the time in the car. Ben and I catch ourselves jamming out to them as well! We have been known to teach a Sunday school class or two — crazy!
The church offers so many options and you can be as involved as you want to. It has really been a saving grace for my family and me. We became members as I have said about three years ago, and honestly, I feel like we have gone to this church forever. We are literally at the church every day but Saturday because of school, worship, various committees or Village U classes. It’s not something we complain about. It is truly our home away from home.
It is with a very heavy heart that we are leaving Kansas City to move back to Arizona. We will really miss this place. We have grown so much, both individually and as a family, because of Village and the wonderful people in it. It’s like Cheers … “Where everyone knows your name!” The bar has been set incredibly high. Once you have been “Village-ized,” you can’t go back.
Ben, Aimee, Emilie, Katie and James Strobl