Yesterday was hard for me.
In the morning when I dropped K off at school I stood outside the door waiting for my neighbor. We always walk the kids to school then walk home together. It’s nice for both of us, it’s nice for the kids. It’s just nice.
As she was saying goodbye to her son in the classroom another mother, the mother of a boy that went to K’s preschool as well, was heading in to drop her son off. She gave me a smile and a wink and then went in momentarily to say goodbye.
When she came back out she stopped and we chatted for a moment, I blurted out that K was going to give full day a try. She really got what that meant to me in the face of all the troubles K had at the beginning of the year. She reassured me and then she headed off to get her daughter to preschool, and my neighbor (who lately is more like a friend than the word neighbor really reflects) and I headed home.
It was hours later as I sat at the dining table feverishly writing on my book trying not to think about K who was at that very moment lining up to head to the cafeteria for lunch, something I knew she was terrified of, when my phone rang. I couldn’t look at it at first, I was paralyzed, feverishly hoping it was Mr. Kaos or my mom, anyone except K’s teacher who said she would call me if lunch became a problem. When I finally looked I saw a number that was familiar but that my cell phone didn’t recognize with a name. I feared the worse. Was it the office, had she melted down, was it her teacher, was she clinging to her leg clutching with terror at being left “alone”? I answered it and it was the voice of that other mother, the one I had spoken to in the hallway.
We’ve had more contact this year with the kids in kindergarten than we ever did at preschool, still we aren’t friends. We don’t hang out. We don’t call.
But she did.
And she called because she wanted to see how I was. Make sure I was okay. Tell me it was hard for her too when her son started full day. She called because she thought it might help.
And it did. And I was touched. And I said thank you. And I meant it. I
really hope she heard.
People like her, they give me hope that humanity, civility is not lost. Ordinarily I go through my day hating people. Today, I think they may just be okay.