Success! No broken elbows!

I love kids.

I really love kids.

I have an affinity for their innocence, their enthusiasm and their zest for life. Spending time with kids charges my batteries. They are the reason why I have passion for my work and my life.

I love kids.

Now, there are some that claim I may have no boundaries with kids. I’ll let you decide.

It may be true that once, a long time ago, I was told I could do anything but let the kids go swimming in the ocean. We may, possibly, have gotten a little wet after spending some time on the beach – OK – we were fully emerged in the beauty of the ocean waves. Who was I to stop such joy?

It may be true that when a convertible was requested on the day of a kindergarten graduation, I fulfilled that request … not just once, but twice.

It may be true that when a breakfast request is made for diet pepsi and candy, I made it happened.

It may be true that when a nephew made the request to stay up all night, I didn’t say no, but tried to stay up with him. (I didn’t make it … he did.)

It may be true that I would always choose the slumber party with the kids on the downstairs concrete floor instead of the comfort of a bed on the farm. Every single time.

I may be true that the very first time I watched the neighborhood kids that Juan broke his elbow.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Well, you get it, right? Something happens when I’m around children. I seem to have NO control. I have no control over the daisy scouts in my troop. When I asked my co-leader why I seem to elicit the response from the girls, she said … and I think she meant it to be kind … “Well, you are just like them … you have the same energy.”

I’m just going to take that as a compliment …

In addition to loving kids, I love being helpful. When my friend called to ask if I could spend the night with her son, I jumped at the chance. I had wanted to have a chance to get to know her son better – I couldn’t wait to spend time with Dave (again, all names have been changed to protect the innocent).

The task was simple. Pick up Dave from Boy Scouts. Take him home and spend the night. Make sure Dave gets to the bus on time. How much easier could it be?

Step One: Pick up Dave from Boy Scouts. The meeting was scheduled to be over at 8:15 pm. I was there at 7:45. One never knows about Portland traffic … and I didn’t want to mess up step one.

7:45: Didn’t get out of my car. Didn’t want to embarrass Dave by bursting into his meeting.
8:05: Began casing the church meeting place. I hoped to catch a glimpse of the scout meeting.
8:10: Adults, with kids, began to leave the facility. I accosted each and every one of them to ask if they were boy scouts.
8:15: None of the adults said that they were boy scouts.
8:18: My breathing quickened.
8:22: Four cars were left in the parking lot. When I arrived earlier, the parking lot was full (30+ cars).
8:23: Called Dave’s Dad. No answer.
8:23:30: Called Dave’s Mom. No answer.
8:25: Hysteria begins to sink in.
8:26: I pound on the facility door as though I was being chased by a murderer. Kind man answers the door and assures me that the boy scouts meet on Wednesday, not Tuesday.
8:27: Dave’s Mom calls … she forgot that the scout meeting was not going to be at the facility. Dave was safe and would be dropped off at the house.
8:28: Panic subsides and I wonder how in the heck parents do this day in and day out … I go back to the car and drive to my friend’s home. She has given me the code to the garage door and assures me the door to the house is unlocked.
8:35: Arrive at the house and am elated when the garage door opens after entering the code. I am back on my game. Life is good.
8:35:30: Oops … the door to the home is locked. I don’t worry. Dave is right behind me and will know how to get into the house. I quit looking at the clock – it doesn’t matter anymore. Dave is safe and all is well.

Dave arrives and says of course, I know where the key is.

Dave can’t find the key.

Several calls are made to Dave’s Mom and Dad … Each and every thing on the garage shelves are moved. The shelves are cleared off to make sure there is no key.

There is no key. Dave wants to find an axe. I assure him we don’t need an axe. I do suggest that he looks for a crow bar.

There is another solution … there is a lock box.

Dave and I can’t get into the lock box.

Dave’s Dad gives me step-by-step instructions on how to get into the lock box. After multiple tries, I’m successful. Life is good.

Except, the key doesn’t fit the lock.

Dave’s Mom tells us to just break down the door. Dave likes this idea and may have begun trying to kick in the door. The door won.

Dave’s Dad calls and says that the neighbor might have a key. Dave runs off to find the neighbor. You’ll be surprised to learn that their key didn’t work.

Dave is beginning to panic. I’m thankful for this because I know everything will be ok. As long as someone else is panicking and over-reacting, I can be calm. So I laugh and laugh. Dave doesn’t appreciate my laughter.

I see a light bulb light over Dave’s head. The upper deck has two sliding doors and one is broken. Dave suggests that we use the ladder to crawl onto the upper deck and enter the house through the sliding door. Dave wants to make the climb.

AHA! I do have boundaries. I say absolutely not. Dave … you will NOT climb the ladder jump onto the balcony and save the day … and the kind neighbor says he will climb the ladder.

SUCCESS – one of the doors was open and Dave and I got into the house and spent a very safe night in the home. Bedtime may have been extended … but all in all, it was a radically successful night!

This adventure was a great reminder of what is important and what gives value to our lives – it’s all about the kids in our lives.

I can be trusted. I do have one boundary — remember? I wouldn’t let Dave climb the ladder! . I love kids and I had a great time with Dave – thank you so much for the adventure!

____________________________________________

My favorite part of this story is how it centered me. This is a challenging time to be an empath – I’ve been consumed by watching news programs and am troubled by the divisiveness and hate-talk that is so pervasive.

My adventure with Dave reminded me what life is about – it’s all about our kids. Perhaps if we all, including our elected officials, remember that it is all about our kids, their future and their well-being, then there is hope for our future as we establish new policies and create our future as a nation and as inhabitants of our planet.

I choose to be hopeful.

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