Say you lock yourself out of your apartment. But you have to get your kid to school and you don’t want to miss the bus, so you just ignore the problem and don’t say anything to the super as you pass him on the way to the bus stop, even though he is the only person who might be able to help you until your husband gets home from work at 7:00ish. Say you wait at the bus stop for several minutes after the bus is scheduled to arrive and there is no sign of it coming down the street, so you walk the 2 miles to the school. And then pretend that after school you are supposed to meet a friend at the museum. You get to the museum and realize that it is closed. On a Tuesday! You call your friend to break the news and find out that she is actually on her way to a different museum — one that is actually opened. You wonder how you made it this far in life and wag your head in shame as you walk home. When you get there, you call the super and tell him your situation. He has no key, but he tries –unsuccessfully — to cheat it with a thin piece of metal. It becomes apparent that you aren’t getting into your apartment until your husband gets home with his keys. Your children are tired and cold. Their cheeks are rosy and their eyes are watery.
What do you do?
You call a friend. You take your kids to her place. You crash in her living room. You pile your coats and hats and boots in her space. She feeds your children. She makes the most delicious hot chocolate you have had all winter. She listens sympathetically as you blabber about nothing for a few hours. She doesn’t say a word about the fact that your children are jumping on her furniture. She bundles your kids in blankets and lets them watch “The Jungle Book” on her couch. She doesn’t seem at all annoyed by the incessant questioning of your three-year-old. She doesn’t mind when your 14-month-old smacks her child in the face (and, in fact, neither does the child). And even though you’ve just disrupted her entire afternoon, ruined her trip to the museum, invaded her space and made a mess of her apartment, as you walk out the door she says, “We should do this more often.”
And you’ve had such a great afternoon that you can’t help but agree.