Wednesday nights are hectic. We have an hour and a half after school to do homework, eat dinner and check off chores before flying out the door to soccer practice.
Last night, however, 10 minutes before we had to leave, an ambulance screamed past the house. We live on a cul-de-sac and know everyone in the neighborhood. So naturally, I was alarmed and my oldest ran out to the road to see where it was going.
When he told me whose house it turned into, I grabbed my car keys in spite of the boys’ protests and told them I’d be back.
“But Mom, what about soccer? We need to leave!”
“We’ll see about soccer. But right now, I need to go see if there’s anything I can do.”
The ambulance had parked in front of the house of a newly single mom and her two children. Our kids spend a lot of time together so I know the family well.
As I came through their wide-open front door, her 11 year old son turned from his grandmother and fell into my arms. He was sobbing and obviously scared. His mom had suffered a medical emergency and was being loaded onto a stretcher by the team. His little sister was not at home.
Seconds later, another neighbor came in and started moving furniture out of the way for the crew. Then another neighbor, a critical care nurse, came in to see if she could help. Two more concerned neighbors arrived and waited outside.
It made me so thankful for the community in which we live.
By the time I got home, it was obvious we would be very late for soccer and the boys wanted to know why I had felt the need to go.
How could they possibly understand a mom’s heart? All I could think of was, if I were that mom, I would desperately want someone to be there for my kids. I would want someone to wrap them in a hug and stay with them, and to pray.
In short, I would want someone to do this for me.
The mom is doing much better today, and back at home with her children. But the incident left me realizing how much I take for granted. When you are part of a two parent family, one parent is always there to back up the other. When you are a single mom, there’s no safety net.
Putting myself in her shoes, I realized what a scary place it must be sometimes. It made me want to reach out more, not just when there is an emergency. But with the every day things that must be handled alone.
Are you a single mom? What kinds of things do you hate to ask for but wish someone could help with? Or do you have a single-mom friend? What are the things she appreciates most?