I had a crazy night last night! I know it sounds nuts but an emergency is just what I needed!!! While I’d say it was barely an emergency, I did have to call 911. What really amazed me about this experience was generosity - how many people were willing to help. What Mr. Rogers said about looking for the helpers is so true. They are always there when you look, which is truly an amazing truth in this crazy world.
Many of the people who helped me barely speak English. I know them in passing, but I don’t know their names. And some people I’d never seen before came straight from the street.
So let me fill you in on my crazy night! My day began with taking my cold-stricken kids to school, and once home, being called to pick up my daughter. She was having such a tantrum that the school didn’t know what to do. Of course, I live so far away that by the time I got there she was fine. She went on to spend all day playing and not acting sick at all.
At the end of the school day, my daughter and I picked up the other kids to take them to ballroom dance class. When I finally pried my daughter off my leg and got the kids into class, I took my own dance class to rejuvenate. My everyday life has been so stressful that I’ve been taking extra measures to care for myself. I love dance, so this is “me” time.
I’ll fill you in - there have been incidents the last couple of times we’ve been at dance. Like 2 weeks ago, my key fell off my keychain at the studio. My friends at the studio were super helpful. We looked in the car, around the car, in our bags, and all over the studio. We probably looked in each place 3 times. To this day there is still no key. My husband could not find the spare key either, so he had to come get us in his not-so-child-ready car. Of course when we got home I found the spare key in my purse, which had been “thoroughly” searched by my mother and husband before they came for us. Then he and I had to return to get the car later that day. After all that hassle, the last thing I expected was another major problem but it was coming.
On the night of the emergency, dance things seemed to be going well. The kids got themselves dressed in a reasonable time. I was loading them into the car in the dark. While I situated my son in the back seat, my daughters were fighting to turn on the lights in the car, and pushing all the buttons they could find. Since I was in the back I couldn’t intervene much. All I could do was suggest taking turns. By the time I was done with my son, they decided that taking turns was a good idea. Unfortunately they got themselves all crammed up between the front seats. While dealing with all this drama I put my purse down. Next I put one of my daughters in her seat, and while I was doing this my third child got herself half-buckled. At that moment, I was happy to see her take the initiative. Now, my car has this nasty habit, after you open it it will lock the side of the car you are not on. At some point I remember hitting the unlock button again to make sure the whole car was unlocked. So I closed the car door to go to the other side and finish buckling my daughter in, then realized I did not have my keys. I tried to open the car again but it was locked. I could not open any of the doors. I am still not sure if it was me, or one of the kids that hit the lock button. With all the tussling, it could have been anyone!
So now I was starting to freak out. What do I do? I kept trying to get my daughter to unbuckle herself and unlock the door, but she seemed to be unable to get herself free. She started to cry, which led to everyone crying. After a few minutes of this I went back into the studio. I sent someone out to stay with the car while I tried to call for help. Someone let me use their phone of course. I think my phone was in the car. I called my mom. She didn’t think she could follow my directions to get the spare key, no less drive in the dark 45 minutes to the studio. Did I tell you everything in my life is 45 minutes away? The school, the studio, my husband’s work. Nothing is close. Soon we’ll be moving, and I look forward to things being closer.
I ask if anyone knows the number to the police department, but no one knows. So finally I am forced to call 911. The responders then call the police and tell me someone is on the way, and to call back if I manage to get into the car. During this time my daughter figured out how to unstrap herself. So suddenly half the studio was outside trying to help my daughter figure out how to open the door. She can’t see because it’s dark outside. Finally someone at the studio has the bright idea to use the use the flashlight on their phone and shine it in for her. Then we were able to direct her to hit the right button. Luckily we got all this done and I called the police before they arrived. I’m sure I’ll say this a billion times in this blog, but my life is never boring. Even mundane things like going to dance lessons seem to take on a life of their own. When I finally left the studio I was so grateful for all the people who had come to help!!! It was so heart warming!
When I got home I watched read a post by a man who lost his wife in Paris. I was so moved by it again. Here was my little so-called emergency compared to this utter tragedy that breaks my heart. How someone could face tragedy with such love and grace. Some days you really need to connect with the people who bring light into this world and maintain it. I will continue to search out those lights and bring them into my life. And when my children get older, and there is a tragedy, I will share this man’s words. I want my children to choose love and life, and to be a light for others.
Here is the man reading his words: