“Help, I need somebody, Help, not just anybody, Help, you know I need someone,” the old Beatles song blasted from the family room, where 4-year-old Joshua was playing with the dials on the stereo.
His mom Tracy turned off the music. “Time to go to school.” He eagerly nodded his head. Tracy hurried into the kitchen to grab her purse.
“Oh no, the cats need to be fed. Well, they have enough dry food,” Tracy lamented as she left the room, “Hannah, time to go now!” 6-year-old Hannah appeared at the top of the stairs still in her pajamas.
“Hannah, why aren’t you dressed?” Tracy struggled to control her annoyance.
Hannah shrugged. Tracy, digging deep for patience, simply pointed. Hannah turned and dragged herself up the stairs. The sound of cascading cat food could be heard from the kitchen, followed by a small uh- oh. Tracy hurried to the kitchen door where she saw Joshua with the entire contents of a 5 lb. bag of cat food at his feet!
“No time to clean that up. Let’s go!” Tracy grabbed Joshua’s hand and headed for the door, with Hannah not far behind.
“When I was younger so much younger than today, I never needed anybody to help me in anyway. Now those days are gone and I’m not so self-assured. And now I find I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the door.”
Tracy’s mind drifted as she listened to her 1st grade class read.
I wonder how much food a cat can eat before they get sick. The morning’s events stuck in her head. Her class finished the story about the red hen.
“Okay, get out your workbooks and turn to page 52,” Tracy instructed the class. She explained to the students how to complete the page.
“Mrs. Roberts, I’m done,” Zach always completed his work first. She headed for his desk with stickers in hand.
“Zach, you copied the sentence very nicely, but you missed one thing,” Tracy pointed to the quotation marks,” Remember when we talked about those marks called quotation marks. They are found at the beginning and end of a sentence that has been spoken.” Zach quickly added the little curved marks.
“Class, where do we find quotation marks?” Tracy reinforced the lesson to the kids. Blank stares greeted her. She sighed.
“At the beginning and end of a sentence that a character has said,” she explained again. Another hand when up.
“What are these marks?” Emma asked pointing to the quotation marks.
“Help me if you can I’m feeling down, and I do appreciate you being round. Help me get my feet back on the ground. Won’t you please, please help me?”
The phone rang in the teacher’s break room.
“Tracy, it’s for you. Joshua’s preschool.” Her heart sank. She left her tuna sandwich and flew to the phone.
“Yes, this is Tracy.”
“Just wanted to let you know that Joshua threw up this morning but he isn’t running a temp and seems to be fine now,” Joshua’s teacher spoke with unfailing kindness.
“Oh, dear. Well, my Mom will be picking him up today, “Tracy explained.
“Yes of course, I just wanted you to know, “his teacher assured her, “maybe it was something he ate this morning. To be honest, it looked like he had eaten some cat food.”
“Now my life has changed in oh so many ways. My independence seems to vanish in the haze. But every now and then, I feel so insecure. I know that I need you like I never have before.”
Hannah and Joshua ran through the garage door and into the house as Tracy lifted the groceries out of the trunk.
“Macaroni and cheese will have to do tonight, “she muttered to herself as she entered the kitchen. She noticed the answering machine was blinking.
“Hi honey,” her husband’s voice sounded cheerful,” Remember Mike from work. Well, he is interested in hearing more about our church so I invited him over for dinner tonight. Don’t worry, you’re such a great cook, anything you make will be fine. See you about 6:00.”
“Excuse me kids. Mommy needs a time out.” Tracy went to the master bedroom and closed the door behind her. She fell to her knees by the side of the bed. Folding her hands and bowing her head she began to pray.
“My precious Lord and Savior, help!”
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