Monday, April 11, 2011
Everyone has bad days. Having a bad day with two children in tow brings it to a whole new level.
In organizing the shoe drive for Japan I realized how much I am craving community.
I have an excellent social life, plenty of friends and am active with our school community.
What I feel I am missing is a greater sense of community. A sense of support with and for each other.
I had hoped that when we packed up the shoes we would all come together, all ages and work together for one purpose.
I emailed the entire school with this request.
One other mom turned up to help.
One. Out of a school of over 100 families.
One additional mom stayed to help when asked. Our kids found the task boring and took off to play.
We got the job done and ended up being a great team but I left feeling disappointed.
I had been hoping for something else.
I know people are busy with their lives and we certainly got lots of shoes donated. I thought the work party of packing would be the fun, community part. I guess I was hoping for a barn raising.
I left the school feeling sad. We headed to the post office with our boxes.
Hauling heavy shoe boxes from the car into a post office while making sure two children are safe is stressful.
By the time we got into the post office I was harried.
We waited in line - never a fun activity with a two year old.
We finally take our turn at the counter to find that the wine boxes I had picked up for packing were not allowed.
Apparently the fact they no longer contained wine was irrelevant.
Trying not to swear. I considered my options.
I could reload all the boxes into my car reversing the four step process I had just completed or I could find some way to cover the boxes. I decided to wrap the boxes in brown tape covering all references to wine. No small job.
About three boxes in, I hear the phrase that adds stress to every parents day.
"I need to go potty!"
"Can you hold it?"
"No! I need to go poo.'
Turns out the bathroom in a post office is off limits for security reasons.
Are you kidding me? Now what?
I actually considered just sitting down and crying.
An older women stepped forward and offered to watch my boxes while we go to find a bathroom.
I am flooded with gratitude and we take off.
Finally settled into a bathroom the two year old utters the phrase that causes me to laugh out loud and scream all at once.
"Oopsie - I only fartydid."
The shoes were eventually sent. The Two year old remained dry and the Eight year old redeemed herself by helping with the post office marathon..
Later that evening, I got a hug from The Husband and had a nice glass of wine to soothe my frayed nerves.
I will keep seeking the community I crave but I will also try to accept that community can be found in different ways.
Stop by www.thesleepytimegal.com to find out about a great project that is kid friendly and easy to do for some orphaned or homeless children in Japan.