When we found out about Katrin’s grandma, we knew she would want us to be there for her this week. Over the last few years, we’ve become so close with her that Maya insists that she is her sister. When we ask Bode who his family is, his response starts with, “Daddy…Mommy…Katrin…Baby Harley…” Either Maya or Jonah is usually included in the line-up, but not both of them. And, to be honest, he usually forgets them entirely. Luckily, they’ve learned to not take it personally.
So, as soon as we knew she had passed away, I started looking up flights to Iceland. Katrin was thrilled and so grateful when we told her we were coming out to be with her.
The only hard part of that decision is the fact that we have 4 children who we weren’t planning on bringing with us to a funeral in Iceland. So, we immediately emailed the grandparents.
Initially, before they knew the exact dates, they all replied telling us that they were up to help out whenever and however we needed them to.
That was until after we booked the flights and knew the exact days we’d be away. Unfortunately, Ben’s Mom couldn’t help at all…and, my parents could only be there for 1 day and 1 night of the 4 days that we’d be gone.
Since we had already booked the flights, and there’s no “rescheduling” of funerals due to childcare issues that I’ve ever heard of, we had no other option than to send out an email to 11 of our other friends that have ever offered to help or babysit for our kids.
We were shocked by the replies: 10 of our 11 friends, all who live insanely hectic lives and many have plenty of children of their own to take care of, wrote us back immediately saying they would love to help.
Within about 48 hours, we had collectively puzzle-pieced together a rotation of 12 different people watching Bode and Baby Love from Sunday afternoon until Wednesday night. By some act of God, we were able to work it with everyone’s schedules: Bushey and Rachel each stayed over night once, Ronda helped a couple different days, Harry did a few shifts and drove to Jonah to Nobles, Ben’s Dad brought Bode to playgroup twice, Cary Collins helped Kathy Langen at one point during Kathy’s monstrous 7 hour shift, Jill Lorion was there for 4 hours on Monday, and my parents were able to come up for about 24 hours which was a huge help.
The saying “it takes a village” took on an entirely new meaning for me.
I’ve always said that I don’t know how families do it when they don’t have other family around to help them out during times like this.
Ben and I are lucky in that we usually can count on them just about any time we want to do something. Both sets of our parents have great relationships with all of our kids and usually jump at any chance we give them to take care of them for us. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out like that at a time when we didn’t really have any flexibility with our schedule.
It gave me a new perspective on just how lucky we are to have friends that really are there to help when you need them.
I mean, people say that sort of thing all of the time: “Let me know if you need any help,” “Call if you need anything,” and, “I would LOVE to take care of your kids!”
I guess I just assumed that most people are just saying that to be nice; I thought they were just saying that because that’s what you’re supposed to say.
But, I am telling you: these people genuinely wanted to help, they actually meant that they wanted me to call if I needed something, and at least I think they really did love hanging out with our kids.
Now, I don’t think I will ever put them on the spot like that again. I get that you’re only allowed to play that sort of card once every few years. And, it’s not like I would ever have roped them in like that so Ben and I could go on some hot vacation somewhere.
But, it’s times like this that sure do change your view on someone when they prove that they’re really there for you when you need them.