The clock on my office desk reads 5:37 p.m.
I am cleaning up my desk and packing my laptop into my shoulder bag along with some papers I will need to do more work with that evening. It has been two weeks since I started my new job of running this Y and there is a lot to do. I am weary and tired from a long day of staring at budget numbers and my mind wanders to my family waiting for me at home. Outside my office door sits the front desk and I can hear that our receptionist is helping someone register for a program.
I glance out my door and I see a woman, about my age, filling out paperwork and I can see clearly from where I stand that one of the forms is a financial assistance form. I don’t see anyone with her however and so I continue to pack up. I don’t like clutter on my desk when I come in to work in the morning so I spend a few minutes putting things where they belong. When I am done, I put on my jacket as it is dark and chilly outside and I pick up my bag and head for my office door.
I once again see the woman in the lobby. She has just finished filling out her paperwork and is handing our receptionist a $10 bill. As the receptionist takes her payment I notice, for the first time, that the woman is not alone. Standing quietly beside her I see a little boy who looks to be about four. At this moment, the lady bends down and gives the boy a hug and says joyfully, “You’re going to play soccer like a big boy!” The little boy beams a smile so bright, I don’t notice the darkness as I walk through the lobby and out the front door.
I reflect on what I had just seen as I head to my car in the parking lot. I make a mental note that a season of soccer costs $50 and the woman paid $10. And then I remember that beautiful smile.
I can’t help but smile myself as I think of the hard work that goes into making programs available for everyone – no matter their financial situation – and I once again think of that little boy being hugged by his mother. Someday, in the future, he will think back on this soccer experience and won’t ever realize that his mother struggled to make ends meet – but still found a way to let him play soccer “like a big boy.”
I open the door to my car, slide into the front seat and I think of my own little ones waiting for me at home. My eyes briefly well up with unspilled tears as I know how much that mother loves her son – as much as I love mine – and I am struck by her courage to walk through our doors and ask for help. And I absolutely love that we can answer that call.
I wipe my eyes dry, start the ignition and back out of my space to begin the drive home. I no longer feel weary and I think about how much I love what I do.
The title of this post was from an 80′s song. Can you guess the song?
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