Yesterday evening a message came across my Facebook feed. It was from a friend posting on our homeschool co-op group, letting the group know her kids wouldn’t be attending class today. I only knew why because I had talked to her just a few days before, and knew that her new job had her scheduled on Wednesday, the day we meet at a local community center for co-op classes.
I immediately sent her off a Facebook message offering to take the kids today. “Just drop them off and I’ll get them to co-op.” And that is just what we did…and what we will do next week.
The kids came over this morning, shortly after eight, and immediately began playing with Em and having a great time. This probably had at least a little to do with the fact that they were entranced by our coin-operated candy dispenser that a neighbor recently gave us. And yes, I let every single child have candy before taking them to co-op and setting them loose. You can
thank shoot me later.
The kids didn’t give me a lick of trouble – including my own who typically views the morning feeding of chickens something to dread, not enjoy. She had a ball showing the kids the chickens. We drove to co-op where I set them loose under their older sister’s guidance and by the last class my friend was there to pick them up. All was well. And since next week is the same issue, I told her to just plan on bringing the kids by next Wednesday and we would repeat the adventure.
Two thoughts on all of this…
#1 – Seize Those Moments
I knew immediately what was going on when I saw my friend’s post. And I remembered the countless kind acts others have done for me when I needed help. It was easy to offer, even if I’m not the most patient/nurturing type of person, because I knew she needed a helping hand.
Reaching out a helping hand reminded me that I belong to a community. It was a great feeling to know this. Years ago, when Em was first of the age to go to the co-op, I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t know one single human being, not one, at that co-op. For some people, that doesn’t really matter, but for me it was downright terrifying. What if they didn’t like me? What if they didn’t like my kid? What if I didn’t fit in?
I was a mess that very first day…and for weeks afterward. Eventually I learned to chat with the other mothers, make friends, go on playdates, join other co-ops and my nervousness faded.
Slower still, came that sense of community that I now feel. But that was only because I was so busy being wrapped up in my own fears.
Seizing the opportunities to help someone, in our community or not, doesn’t just help that person, it helps the helper…to be more connected, and to bring quality and depth to our own lives.
#2 – Give Yourself Permission…to Ask For Help
I have told this story before, but it bears repeating. When we decided to move to the house we live in now, the idea of moving all of that furniture, all of our stuff, was completely overwhelming. i had been packing like a madwoman (actually lost count of the number of times I tried to start packing the fridge…months before moving), but there were some truly heavy items to lift. Plus I had over 13 years of living in one home, there was crap in every corner.
I put out a call on Facebook and asked for help. It wasn’t easy for me to do and I know I’m not the only one. We pride ourselves on being independent, resourceful, able to take care of ourselves, our kids, and our lives – with little or no outward difficulties. That’s what being a grown-up is all about, taking care of yourself and not depending on others, right?!
But we don’t live in a vacuum. There are legitimate moments when we need help, when we need others to step in and do just a little thing that makes all the difference in the world.
Give yourself permission to ask for help. Because we all need it at one time or another. My early adulthood was a series of hot messes…oh the tales I could tell…but I know that now I’m in a good place. I’m not rolling in affluence, but I’ve got most of my bases covered and working on making it better. But I still remember how it was – being a single mom, struggling for everything I got. It was hard.
So those are my take aways today. It wasn’t a big deal, I didn’t have to go out of my way or really do anything any more different than have four kids in my car instead of just one. It worked out a-okay. Next week we will do the same thing. The kids win, my kiddo is over the moon about having extra kiddos around, and no one has to miss their co-op classes. A win across the board!
And knowing when to ask for, offer, or accept help.
p.s. i fed them candy…before the co-op started…CANDY. i have a feeling they will be happy to return next week…