We are now about a month into the new school year, which means things are in full swing around my house. Between daily homework, cheerleading, football games, homecomings, dances and festivals, there is not time for much else right now.
I attended a football game last week, only to watch my oldest cheer, because I know nothing about football. It can be overwhelming with all the people, the noise, trying to watch what is going on plus keep up with the younger two, who cannot sit still for 5 minutes.
I had a guy I know come up to me as I was following them around and make the comment, “You never sit down, do you?” Nope, no I do not.
At every game, you can find young kids playing football, digging in the dirt beside the bleachers, making their way to the concession stand or groups of teenagers walking around staring at their phones.
Well as I was following my two around, I heard a little boy holler, “MOM!”
Even though I knew my two were right within my eyesight, it was a natural reaction to spin my head around. It took seconds for me to realize it wasn’t one of mine, but as I looked around, I noticed about ten other women who were within earshot also quickly turned their heads to look in the direction of the little boy.
I think it would be a fair assessment to say all these women are probably also mothers.
But none of these moms were HIS mom and the little boy began panicking. I walked towards him along with a handful of the other mothers who heard him call out. I reached him first since I was already walking close by. He told me he couldn’t find his mom and asked if I knew her. He told me her name and it didn’t sound familiar, but luckily two of the other mothers who walked up, did know her. They asked if I could stay with him, while they walked around to try and find her.
Of course, I stayed. He calmed down a little bit but was still upset. My motherly instincts kicked in and I tried my best to reassure him that the other two moms would find her.
About five minutes later, she walked up followed by the two others who said they knew her. She had briefly walked away because her other son happened to be on the field playing in the game and was injured. So, in a frenzy she ran onto the field to make sure he was okay.
I could tell she was stressed and worried. I felt for her and was completely sympathetic to her motherhood journey.
Having multiple children involved in multiple things – it can be hard to keep up and you constantly feel as if you are getting pulled into 5,000 different directions at once. Even for mothers of only one child, trying to find a balance between motherhood, work and still having a personal life. It is not for the faint of heart.
The mother hugged her son and thanked the three of us who helped him.
I walked away grateful that it turned out well and also very appreciative of this community of moms. Even though we all did not know each other, and this was not our child – we are still moms. I feel as though it is natural to “mother,” especially in these types of situations when an unknown child is clearly distressed. It did not matter that he did not belong to me.
Sometimes I not only mother my own children, but I mother my sister’s kids, my neighbors’ kids, the lost kid and sometimes I even try to “mother” my own mother. (That usually does not end very well.)
But sometimes we must help each other out. I surely hope that if my kid ever became separated from me, a fellow mom would come to the rescue.
It most definitely takes a community to raise them, and we have to stick together.
Stick around for next week’s column titled, “Mothering my own Mother.”
(Paige Nash is a wife, mother of three, digital journalist for the Webster Parish Journal and publisher for the Bienville and Claiborne Parish Journal.)