My daughter is flying into LAX from Boston after spending a week back east visiting her friends. She calls me at 2:00 in the morning, west coast time. She has no money in her account and is at the American Airlines ticket counter in Boston and she can’t pay for her checked bag.
She had reminded me of this earlier. As in a few hours earlier. As in earlier enough that I had the time to go on line and get money in her account so that she could pay for her bag. I said I’d do it. Then forgot. That wise woman, no longer maiden nor mother, but crone… she has no memory at all!
So now it is 2:00 west coast time and Faith is at the airport. At 5:00 east coast time. And she can’t pay for her bag. And so while I am now up and on line signing into my bank so that I can transfer money into her account because I forgot to do it earlier, she is sitting on the floor of Logan International Airport wondering just how she is going to get her bag checked.
And this awesome angel of a woman comes over to her and says where are you going?
LA my daughter replies.
How much for the bag she asks.
And when Faith answers that the cost is $25, this lovely woman gives Faith the money and says if you were my daughter I'd want someone to help you.
Feeling Blessed is what my daughter wrote as her Facebook status.
This is lovely. And necessary. But we don’t think that it is. We think that we are all separate. That we are not really responsible for each other. That someone else’s daughter or son is not our responsibility. It takes a village is a catchy phrase that we throw around but don’t really aspire to. And so usually we turn our heads and hold our purses close.
And this is so wrong.
What we should be doing is just what this lovely woman did. Mother my daughter because I was not there to do it myself. Just as I have mothered so many of my children’s friends as well as countless people that I have run into as I’ve made my way through life. Mother and nurture and care for.
For, you see, mothering is nurturing. And it’s not just a mother/daughter, mother/son thing. It’s a humanity thing. It is a reaching out to each other thing. It is a buying the person in front of you a cup of coffee if they are short change on an early winter morning. It is paying for someone’s full tank of gas even if they are only asking for a few bucks. It is sharing your leftovers and leaving room in your heart to let others in. It is being kind. And being aware. It is seeing clearly. Not turning your back and thinking that it has nothing to do with you.
This woman got it right. If you were my daughter I'd want someone to help you.
Someone will. I promise.