Only a Matter of Perspective

cold kids 2We had a tight schedule when our kids were in school. By this, I don’t mean we scurried from one activity to another getting our kids to lessons and sports practices after school and on weekends. Bud and I were juggling just to get them fed, dressed, and to the bus stop in the mornings. We were both taking call at work, so it was a big job making sure one of us was there when they got home, got them started on homework, got dinner, and their baths. Throw in a few loads of laundry, a fever or sick child and it was sure to be exciting. Sometimes I felt overloaded.
“The science fair project is due tomorrow!” could make my blood run cold. A call from the teacher or bus driver, and there was no telling what changes we had to work in. No teacher ever called to say, “I just wanted to let you know your son is a delight to have in my class.” The kids thought it was a great idea to give us a note or let us know, “I need $50 today for the………. It’s the LAST DAY!”
I felt like we were stressed till we met the Ford kids who lived about a quarter of a mile down the street. They showed up at our house one frosty morning in shorts and overcoats. “Can we ride to the bus stop with y’all? We’re freezing!”
My kids were at the table eating pancakes and sausage. The Ford boys stared, open-mouthed.
“Are you boys hungry?”
“Let me get you a plate. Do you want some milk?”
“Yes ma’am.”
I fixed them up. They licked their plates, literally. The next morning, they opened the front door and climbed right up to the table. We fed those boys for the next two years till we moved. It turns out, they were being raised by a single father who had to get their baby sister to the baby-sitter in time to be at work at seven. He woke the boys as he was going out the door, telling them to get some cereal. Our lives didn’t look quite so demanding.