I'd give you the shirt off my back. Need something? I'll get it. A meal, a favor, a ride, some childcare, pancake mix, cooking advice, the proverbial sugar? I'm all over it. Probably to a fault.
I don't expect pats on the back and don't feel as though I am tooting my own horn. It's who I am, how I'm built. Not because I'm nice or a pushover- I am not a pushover- ask my friends, they'll tell you. Helping is second, or maybe even first nature.
I used to be not so good at taking help. But now, with a lot of little ones, I've learned that help is good. When the bagger asks if she can take out my groceries, I now say yes. When someone offers hand me down clothes? Wonderful. Little favors from teachers, staff at school, acquaintance type "friends" at school. Thanks. I'm so appreciative.
I like the whole "It takes a village" concept. It is comforting to know that we are part of a school community that looks out for one another and helps when needed. When my little angels need a reprimand and I'm not within range, I expect and hope that another parent will step up- and let me know afterwards that Grace smacked down a friend on the playground.
Naturally, I can't stand it when people are not helpful.
A few years back (like eight or so) we were living in another community- another fabulous environment- when I was about 12 weeks into my fourth pregnancy. Leo was the first, followed by two 7 week miscarriages. We had been in to the OB to hear the heart beat and they couldn't find it. My all day sickness had suddenly ended and we were scheduled for an ultra sound to see if the pregnancy was still viable- nice verbiage to cover the actual horrible words of 'if your baby is dead or alive'. At the time, I was running a home based child care and needed someone to cover a couple of hours in the afternoon so we could attend the appointment. We called upon a friend who we had recently helped pack up her house and move after a divorce. A very nice woman who had two kids and was a teacher as well. The kind of person who was never shy to call and ask a favor. We were not the best of friends, but certainly more than acquaintances. We called, explained what was happening and asked if she would mind covering for me. She said no. There was an after school social already scheduled for the afternoon to help support a new administrator who had been getting a beating from some parents- (a very hoity-toity school where the parents thought they were in control). She told us that she had already committed to attending that and felt the administrator could really use her support, so she wouldn't be able to help us out.
Hmmmm, running to the local pub to support an administrator or covering my child care so we could go see if a new life I was caring was dead or alive?
I just didn't get it. I have never been able to let that one go. She's a nice woman who we still talk to and exchange Christmas cards...It was her choice, her priority, I get that. I just don't get it. I am sure she doesn't even remember being asked, but it's one of those things I'll just never forget.
In the end, we asked our good friend who was insulted (in a good way) that we hadn't asked her first.
And the baby?- the baby was dead.