I get by with a little help from my friends

Last week I was having one of those days.  You know the ones.  Nothing was catastrophically wrong, but the little things were adding up.  Our weekly babysitter/tutor cancelled last minute.  Again.  I had a lead on a replacement, but she flaked out after being very promising.  We started getting hassled about our parking situation, which was doubly frustrating because I thought it was taken care of.  We had to get ready for the rest of our stuff to arrive.  I felt like I should be planning something to take advantage of the long weekend.  So, you see, nothing major.  Nothing un-handle-able.  But the combo was bringing me down.  And this was even before I found out that the battery on our car was dead.

The boys and I were at the playground, providing sustenance for what felt like a battalion of mosquitoes.  I started playing the “how can I lure Henry inside” game in my head.  See, to motivate him, you generally need to have a more attractive option to offer.  “Go outside” is pretty high up the ladder.  The only things more motivating are really food and TV.  But food doesn’t always work and TV is generally more hassle than it is worth getting him to stop.

So I’m out of sorts and gearing myself up for a negotiation with a two-year-old.  I surprised myself and decided we should visit one of our neighbors.  A very nice lady with two girls, one of whom would be at school.  She had mentioned a few times that we should drop by whenever.  I hated to show up unannounced, but she offered, right?

She welcomed us in with open arms.  She sympathized with understanding about babysitters and parking.  She made delicious frappuccinos, which was the official end of my whole30 reset.  Henry had a blast with his pal and her new toys.  We were only there about an hour, but I felt like I could breathe again.

While we were upstairs visiting, I got a text from another neighbor asking about lunch or coffee.  She came over while the kids were napping and we had a fine time chatting on the balcony.

This was the day of the playgroup another neighbor and I started.  So that afternoon I got to hang out with three other moms.

The next day, I got two separate recommendations for other babysitters from my gang.

And once we realized that the car was dead, crushing my nonexistent travel plans, other neighbors hooked up our battery to their fancy charging machine overnight, allowing us to go on our first day trip by car.  (Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli.  More on this soon.)

We haven’t even been here two months, but we’ve really met some wonderful people.  On this no-good-very-bad-day, I was grateful for my network and humbled that I even have a network at all.  It also reminds me to work on being a better friend.  We don’t really have the cool toys or the good snacks here, but I need to keep reaching out and being supportive in my own way.


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