Last Friday - my first full Friday off in a long time - I joined a group of moms and kids from church on a fairly high-effort outing to the city to catch a Wiggleworms show at Millennium Park. Most of us took the train, and decided it would be easier to huff it to the park from Union Station rather than cram five strollers and eleven children onto a city bus. The trip was a smashing success, as far as I'm concerned; we had fun, and everyone was accounted for at the end of the day. One of the biggest factors in the smooth sailing was the ease with which the various mothers care for each others' kids. There was a lot of "Okay, you've got so-and-so" and "She's with me, we'll meet you by the elevators." And, when Juliette started having a meltdown on the ride home, one of the other mamas swooped in with an exceedingly helpful intervention that effectively terminated what could have been a full-fledged fit on a full train car.
We had a really tough morning today. The new school thing is still iffy, and Juliette had woken up on the wrong side of the bed. I spent a good twenty minutes in the school parking lot, helpless to stop the full-fledged fit unfolding in the Honda Fit. Instead of hoping we wouldn't see anyone we know, I found myself sort of wishing one of those other mamas would happen by.
I think that's one measure of a healthy parenting village, don't you?