Something downright amazing and awe-inspiring happened today, and I really needed to share this with you. If you ever doubt in there being “something else” out there, something divine, whatever religion or spiritual beliefs you may or may not hold, please read this with an open mind, and heart. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
This story begins Sunday – the day I left for Chicago. I was delayed because of weather hammering down on Dallas, delaying flights in and out of Texas, bringing a cold front with it, staying behind.
A cold front that pushed through Texas and into Louisiana on Monday, and stagnated there, in the 50’s at first, but crawling up the 60’s yesterday and today.
A cold front that brought sun and nice, temperate weather. Weather that caused us to enjoy going outside and frolic longer than normal today. We had already been outside for over two hours when my husband left to pick up our older kids from school. My toddlers and I continued to play outside, in the backyard, on the trampoline, when my husband dropped my first-grader off, on his way to get the older ones.
A first-grader who asked to keep his school uniform on today, instead of change (like he normally would), because he really wanted to jump right then and there. As soon as he began jumping, the school buses came.
The buses that came and dropped off neighborhood elementary school children, including two down-the-street neighbor children, ages four and six. Two neighbor children who weren’t greeted by anyone as they stepped off the bus, who walked down the street, alone, to their house. A house that met them with a locked door and no vehicle in their driveway.
Two neighbor children whom I heard calling for their mother; the four-year-old screaming as loud as his little lungs would let him. At first, I thought it was a temper-tantrum; surely, he was with his mother. But as the calls for her grew louder, his tears more desperate, that’s when I quickly hung up with my husband, ran and turned the corner from my backyard to find him on the sidewalk, wandering, backpack slung on his back, helpless.
I called to him, asking if he was alone. He sobbed a pitiful “Yes!” back to me, sniffling, with salty tears streaming down his face, his sister stayed solidly in place by her house. I saw his school bus tag hung with string around his neck. Thank goodness he’s four! I thought to myself. I know, such a strange thing to wish, but because at this age (four), in their school they are forced to wear a bus-tag with all their info – first and last name, address, home phone number – every day of the year.
I took that bus-tag and quickly called our housing office with my phone. With that tag, I was accurately able to convey who these kids were and where they lived. Housing has all of everyone’s alternate contact information, including duty phone number, commanders number, unit info, etc. Surely with all that they could track down this family somewhere, somehow.
I invited these scared children into my backyard. “Look, see? We’re playing on the trampoline. We only live right here. We’re close to your house, we’ll find your parents. See? See my son? He goes to your school, too! Do you know him? His name is…”
And I showed them my son, the son they immediately saw and recognized as someone just like them, wearing a uniform like them; a uniform he doesn’t normally wear when playing outside. And it all hit me, the irony, the timing of it all. Especially when the father came some moments later.
“Look, our dad is here!” The son called out, dutifully.
I knew he was watching the street constantly for his parents. They scooped up their belongings as quickly as they could, and ran faster than I was able, to hug their father’s shaking legs. He look like he’d been hit by a truck. Twice.
Shaking like a leaf, he asked me one word, “How…” and I explained it all. He couldn’t speak, only saying “Thank God!” and “Thank you!” and hugging these kids while he shivered like he was in the frozen tundra with no coat.
He drove away in their minivan, with car seats, and it was then I came to realize that perhaps they shared a car, and he had it – perhaps she was somewhere waiting on him, and not home? Perhaps?
A little later, she knocked at my door, in her uniform from the local diner, together with all three children (to include her youngest, who had been with her during this time), to thank me herself. “Thank you so much for being there, he had the car and was supposed to get them today! Thank you so much! My name is…”
And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Of all the days for it to be cool. Of all the days for us to be outside for a prolonged amount of time. Of all the days for my son to keep his uniform on outside. Of all the days, it was the day this family needed me to be there for their children.
Even if you don’t normally believe in a higher power, you’ve got to admit, there was definitely something cosmic at work here. And the goosebumps you now have prove it.
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