The One With the Emergency Contacts

My kids have never lived near grandparents or aunts and uncles. This is not normally a challenge for us. We’ve had lack of babysitters in the kids’ early years, but we got by. . But here is where the family situation presents a challenge:

Including preschools, my 13 year old, has now attended six schools in five states. My 6 year old is on his 4th school in 3 different states. With each of these new schools, at some point in time, there will be sent home an Emergency Contact Form. So we have to find people. People willing to and trustworthy enough to help with our children in Case of Emergency.

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I feel like we’re settling in, getting acclimated to life in another new state, kids are getting good grades, we are sailing smoothly along. And then, I get the form. Now this form is just a piece of paper I realize. The odds that this form will ever really be looked at is probably miniscule. The odds that I, or husband, can not be contacted in this age of technology are pretty minute. But… this form gives me pause. Do I have people? People to trust with my people?

In South Carolina, I had a wonderful friend who loved my children and she was not only my kids’ Emergency Contact, but mine as well. In fact, when I moved back to the Midwest, she was also there. And she again was one of Emergency Contacts.

In North Carolina, I had an army of Emergency Contacts. This list grew and changed a bit over time. But, I had friends who I leaned on heavily, and they let me. I had another Emergency Contact for myself as well, including my sanity! Back in the Midwest, I again found people. People to watch for the bus if I was running late, people to feed my kids pizza while I ran another to the Urgent Care, people I knew I could count on in an Emergency.

I have been blessed beyond measure to have found so many Emergency Contacts for my children…and myself. I like to think, I hope, that all of my People have known that they could count on me as well. I’m not good at very many things, but I am a good Emergency Contact for my friends and their kids too. I have been known to go babysit at 3am for emergency room trips. Or even just to take a friends’  child to an appointment. Or, to bring a bottle of wine to a friend in “need.”

I hope I am not implying that my husband is not a great parent…because he is. But due to his career, he has been known to travel A LOT or work long hours. So, he can’t always be there. And we all know parenting is hard in the best of circumstances, doing it alone is harder. The say it takes a village to raise a child; true or not, having at least a few good villagers around helps.

Pleased to say that I do have a name to add to that Emergency Contact form. In fact, we have already helped each other in time of “emergency”.  I’m sure as time goes on, we will add more Emergency Contacts to our ever growing list of friends we have grown to consider family. And the “old” Emergency Contacts? They are still on there too, from afar, but I know I can count on them if need be.

Thank you to those of you who are on my Emergency Contact list. Thank you for being my people. If you find you are like us, and do not have built in Emergency Contacts, I hope you find some. I hope you allow them to help you and are available to help them as well. Find some villagers willing to bring a meal or bottle of wine at a moment’s notice. Who can come in to your house to babysit at a moments notice and you don’t worry about the dishes in your sink. These friends have been crucial in my life and my children’s.

And if anyone ever needs an Emergency Contact, you can use me.

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