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‘I need a favor’ – see, that’s not so hard

Submitted by on Friday, 18 February 2011 No Comment

I have a problem with asking for help. Part of it’s because of  due to an independent streak, but a great deal of the hesitancy has been learned. Why ask for help when you can’t count on follow through after the promise? Or when you’ve been forced to scramble for child-care when a baby-sitter remembers a social event at the last minute and assumes you can get off work.

Yet, this week has been another one of those times when I found myself desperately needing a hand or two or three or four.

On Saturday, sports scheduling confusion meant I had Big Guy at the wrong place for his football game. I had to shuttle him across post, then take Boots back for his soccer game. Both games would end at about the same time, and that was the part I couldn’t figure out. I’d have to either make someone quit early or leave one guy hanging out at a field for a few minutes.

Boots’ coach solved my problem – after their game she was going to another game near where Big Guy was playing, and she’d be happy to give Boots a ride. Whew!

On Sunday, we were supposed to meet friends at the park at about the time Big Guy took his bar-stool tumble. I called to cancel, telling my friend that we were in the ER. So was she just a while after that, with a care package for Big Guy that included a book, a water bottle and Girl Scout cookies. She then did the math (younger sibling + tiny exam room = brother bouncing off walls) and took Boots home with her.

By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was again facing a “two places at the same time” dilemma. Big Guy had a doctor’s appointment at 7:30. Boots’ school bus comes at 7:40. My first thought was that Boots would just have to get a tardy.

But then I decided to pick up the phone. “I need a favor,” I asked the friend who’d performed the ER rescue mission Sunday. “Can Boots come to your house before school?”

The friend, whose son also is in kindergarten and walks to school, didn’t hesitate to say “yes.” Wow. That was easy.

Uttering those four words was huge for me, though. It’s the first time I’ve said them in years. I’d accept help when it was offered and sometimes ask a parent already at a game to keep an eye out for a few minutes. But to call someone and ask to come knocking at their door first thing in the morning? I just couldn’t.

“My” Army training has changed that dramatically. When other moms offer so often to step up, you’re far more likely to ask for help when no one’s around to see you struggle.

There are folks who think I was start-raving loony to pack up the kids and move to Fort Irwin knowing that my husband was going to be leaving for Afghanistan only a few months after we arrived. There was a method to my madness, though.

My thinking: We’d be closer to services such as medical (such as they are) and the guys would be surrounded by kids who have been through what they’re going through. Their teachers would be more likely to get it, too.Plus, five months with dad in residence would be better than no months.

It’s worked out far better than I’d envisioned. Time after time it’s hit me that moving here – and staying – was the right thing to do. This week was just the most recent example.

Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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