So I’m sitting at our neighborhood pool as summer was winding down last August, and one of my neighbors (whom I really didn’t know that well) comes up to me and asks if I want to be a part of their carpool. One family had graduated to middle school so there was room, she said.
I hesitated because I had two kids going to elementary school, and I knew their carpool had a lot of families – I wouldn’t be able to pull my weight because I couldn’t physically get everyone in my car when I had the two little ones with me (just another reason why I need to invest in a good church van).
No problem, she said. They would just take my kids, and I shouldn’t worry about it.
She went on to explain that the carpool had several families – most of whom had 3 or more children with ages ranging from elementary to high school. She remembered the days when her youngest kids were babies and how hard it was to get to school every day. She knew the other moms did, too, and wouldn’t mind helping me. They didn’t have babies to worry about anymore, she said. It was not such a big deal to them.
But it was HUGE for me.
It was a dream-come-true. All year these women took my kids to and from school (with the exception of Thursday mornings and some mornings or afternoons when my husband was around and could help). Never did they make me feel guilty. Never did they do anything but greet us with smiling faces every morning and afternoon.
[As an aside – you should see this carpool. Every quarter we got a print-out with the schedule of who does what shift during what weeks. And every morning we’d all congregate at the neighborhood playground where about a dozen kids would hop from one car to the next hopefully getting in the right car to go to the right school. Their motto has always been “No Child Left Behind.” Only a woman could get this thing to be such a well-oiled machine.]
It was a total life-changer. I never had to worry about the baby sleeping in the car – he always got his nap on schedule. The little boys didn’t spend half their day in a car seat. And my big kids loved being in the car with older kids and making more neighborhood friends.
What a powerful example (and standard!) these women have been for me. I will never be able to repay them for their generosity this year, but I will be able to pay it forward when my kids are older. I vow to help the mom with young kids because I know what a huge difference it can make.
So to Jean, Catherine, Sandra, and Alisa – THANK YOU! You are all amazingly SUPER smarty moms to me! (I wanted to get a picture of everyone for this but in typical mom fashion – we’re never all in the same place!)
I’d love to hear from you – has a fellow mom ever completely saved you without expecting anything in return?