Monday, September 14, 2009

It Takes a Village

I wake up in the morning knowing that I am in charge of my world. I am an island. I do not need any help.

I woke up this morning feeling that way.

I woke Andrew up at 6am to finish his homework. No problem.

At the bus stop, I met my friends Annie and Becky who brought two 3 year olds with them to my house to celebrate ‘D’ day. This is ‘D’ week for us. I planned to make homemade donuts. We made donuts. No problem.

During that time, my friend Cathy dropped off her 3 year old son for me to baby sit. He would enjoy ‘D’ day with us too. Five kids are at my house. And, though the fact that donut starts with ‘d’ might not stick with them, the pink frosting certainly would. No problem.

Annie and Becky left with their kids. Later, Cathy picked up her son and left with some donuts.

Diane dropped by unexpectedly to invite us to a birthday party. I gave her a donut too. This day was easy.

We had lunch. Played. And, then the bus came. After piano practice and reading, Annie and Becky came back, this time with two 8 year olds, a 7 year old and two three year olds to play in the backyard. No problem.

They offered to keep Gladys and George while I took Andrew to a parent-child meeting at church. Things were even looking up. I put my chicken dinner in the oven on a timer to start a little later, so it would be ready when we return.

And, feeling rather confident in my ability to tackle the day, I agreed to ride bikes to church with Andrew. We ride most days. No problem.

About half way to church, I was riding on rims. No problem.

I see Erica and Francis standing in Erica’s driveway. I ask to borrow her pump. It doesn’t work, so I switch my bike for Erica’s, and we are on our way again – now 20 minutes late for church.

I walk into the very nice mass for first communion kids and settle in sweaty and quietly in the back. I manage to sing songs while reading the religion class parent’s handbook. I wonder how I’m going to make it back to my house in time for everyone at my house to go home and my chicken to not burn. I wonder how, if I ride Erica’s bike all the way home, I will manage to collect my bike on just rims, which I carelessly left unlocked in Erica’s yard.

As I wonder this (and, of course, listen very carefully to whatever is being said) I realize that I could get a ride home and get my van with my bike rack and shuttle the bikes back in my van. I always keep my bike rack on my van in the summertime. If I wasn’t sitting in mass, I could walk home in 30 minutes. If I knew the combination to the bike lock that my son used, I could ride Erica’s bike home in 20 minutes.

If I can somehow catch the eye of my friend Georgia in the second row, I could get a ride home in her car.

And, just then, Georgia made a move for the door. I followed her. I accidentally brought the church songbook along with my son’s folder.

Georgia was able to give me the ride I needed. I returned in my van and re-entered the church meeting, grabbing a cup of coffee in the back to look natural, returning the songbook (and, I’m sure making a rather fine impression on the leader of this very nice church meeting). No problem.

All my problems are solved. In 15 minutes, I’ll get Andrew, load everything on the van, drop off Erica’s bike, pick up mine, and be home in plenty of time to relieve Annie and Becky and pull out the chicken. No problem.

Except, of course, potential new friend Hannah talks to me in the back of Andrew’s classroom, wanting to know more about the religion classes (which I know because I read the handbook while singing). And, my friend Isaac stops me in the parking lot to ask me more questions (because he thinks I actually went to that whole meeting). And, I might need his help next week for carpooling, who knows?

So, now I’m a little teensy weensy bit late, which is fine, until I realize that Erica’s bike does not fit on my bike rack.

Andrew and I abandon the van and ride his bike and Erica’s bike all the way to our house. Now, we are 40 minutes late. (Fortunately, Jay returned home before I did and not only checked on the chicken and the children, but was making fresh onion rings).

Somehow, without driving more than a mile the entire day, I manage to talk to nine friends. And, somehow, while eating dinner that night, I wondered how I could collect my flat tire bicycle from Erica’s, return her bike, and collect my van.

Although I do have many friends ‘Z’ who, like Cat in the Hat, keep ‘Voom’ at hand to clean up the mess I often make of my day, I couldn’t possibly have implicated friend #10. And, although I could ride my other bike with the bike trailer and pick up the van tomorrow, I didn’t want to leave my bike in Erica’s yard all night (or bother her further).

So, at 7:40 pm, I set off on Erica’s bike. I dropped it off, walked to the church, picked up my van, drove back to Erica’s house, paused to chat with Erica, picked up my bike and made it home after 10pm.

I will wake up tomorrow knowing that even though my 'problems' are truly 'no problem', I have help anyway.

That is my village.


Badass Geek said...

Sounds like a busy life to me, but I also know you wouldn't want it any other way.

Flea said...

Awesomeness. It feels good to have a village, doesn't it?

*Moi* said...

Haha Flea! You sound like my science teacher! -Anna

*Moi* said...

I read it again...woke Andrew up at 6 to finish homework? AND HE'S 7? Sounds like he's in middle/high school!