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Mother's Little Helpers

May 11, 2011 - Betsy Bethel
I wanted to write this post in time for Mother's Day, but life got in the way!

I just want to take a moment to give props to the people who have helped me in little ways they might not even realize over the years. A mother's little helpers come in all shapes, sizes and incarnations.

A great big thank-you to ...

My mother for bringing me trays of healthy food in bed, cleaning my house and supporting me during the first two weeks of my daughter's life.

My husband for never questioning my methods ... but also for realizing I do not always have all the answers.

My bosses and co-workers ... for putting up with endless talk of breastfeeding and potty training, short daily absences for pumping purposes, and Thursday afternoon visits from my official 'little helper.'

Facebook friends and OV Parent readers who have been so vocally supportive ... AND those who have probably rolled their eyes and fought the urge to lambaste me when I've done or written inane things.

All those who have helped care for Emma in my absences -- friends, family members, daycare workers, neighbors, church nursery workers, band members, camp counselors ...

And then there are the fleeting angels — those people who have swooped into my life for a few hours or a few days and lifted a burden that maybe I didn't even know I was carrying. The most recent such "angel" was a post-graduate student from Wisconsin named Erin, who played with Emma for over an hour in an asphalt parking lot in the middle of Manhattan while we waited for 2 1/2 hours for the delayed MegaBus that would bear us home. She played "New York City" with Emma's Matchbox cars and toy animals, read every book Emma brought in her travel bag, and generally kept her entertained at a time when I had reached my limit (even though I didn't know it yet). When it did dawn on me, I thanked her profusely, but she insisted it was Emma who was entertaining her. Erin was grateful for the opportunity to play like a little kid again.

When I start to feel like mean people are everywhere and no one cares about anyone but themselves anymore, I remember the Erins in my life, and I say a prayer of thanksgiving. And I pray that I will recognize and grasp the opportunities to be an Erin to others.


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Blog Photos

Erin, our angel in Manhattan, plays "New York City" with Emma's double-decker bus and orca figurine.