These days I am often in the middle of things. On Saturday morning, I started writing early, but stopped. My daughter walked into my office and asked for breakfast. I moved into the kitchen, pulled out the blender, grabbed some spinach, a pineapple, a half orange and a sliver of lemon and threw it in the canister and pushed the blend button. While the roar rang in my ear, I noticed that my iPhone flashed. The ring wasn’t totally unexpected. My mom always calls in the morning. It is a ritual that comforts and represents a part of my daily routine since I left my childhood home. I let the call go to voicemail, because I couldn’t properly talk to my mom while trying to navigate breakfast with my daughter.
As she gulped her green smoothie and scarfed down some eggs, I decided to grab my laptop and move in and out of my virtual world of Twitter and Facebook. While browsing some blog posts, I made a to-do list. On the list, getting groceries took the number one spot. I left the morning dishes in the sink, realizing that I wanted to beat the rush of others racing around the store wanting to check off their own to-do list. I yelled for my daughter to get dressed and grabbed my keys. We headed out the garage door into my car and on the way there, yet another stop. A few bills needed mailing so I asked my daughter to drop them in the slot.
I rounded the corner and headed to the parking lot. We grabbed the closest cart and my daughter clamored for the free samples even though we hadn’t even made it past the metal sliding doors. I told her that Momma had a list and we weren’t about to grab any extras. As we made our way through the aisle, my daughter saw a motorized scooter with not one, but two people on it. She grabbed my sleeve and said, “Look, Momma, they look like the Little Couple.” I glanced over and nodded, noting that indeed, she spotted two little people who were maneuvering their way around the aisle.
We grabbed a few more essentials and as we exited one particular lane, I noticed the motorized scooter and the gentleman, trying to grab an item from the frozen food section. His height prevented him from reaching, but his voice helped him move toward his goal. I watched as he asked a woman on a cell phone to help him grab the item. The woman responded and helped him put the frozen bag in his cart. My daughter witnessed it too and said, “I am so glad he asked that lady to help. It must be hard for him.”
This exchange lingered in my mind over the weekend. I thought about how many of us are in the middle of things, moving from the carpool lanes to work to cooking dinner and tucking our kids at night. How many of us are reluctant to ask for help? Are we afraid that we might reveal too much? Show our vulnerabilities? We all struggle, even when we are so careful to make others think otherwise.
I realized a particular epiphany, in the middle of things, on a random Saturday morning. The importance of raising your voice. Asking for help. What’s the worse that can happen? Someone might be willing to lend a hand.
You won’t know, unless you ask.
Image: Middle by Cath in Dorset via Flickr.