It takes a community

Tonight was another frustrating drive home. Thankfully I had left work on a positive note, managing to clear a few road blocks before heading out the door. Problem was I was leaving about 10 minutes later than I should … thinking much like Mr. Incredible did, “I got time…” … however, that was not what I had. I immediately came into traffic with no where to go. Not good.

I pull out the phone and check the GPS, only 1hr 26 minutes until home. A quick glance at the clock told me all I needed to know, I was looking at being at least 30 minutes late. Definitely not good.

My older son had called earlier and asked to go to a friends, but my younger son was at the YMCA aftercare program. Once again, I was on a race to get home. Do I call their mother to pick him up? Do I call one of the other emergency contacts? The easiest and most obvious is to just contact the friends where Joe was, so after a quick touch based there I contacted the group at the YMCA.

This is where I still get kind of amazed. To allow new people to be authorized to collect Owen from the YMCA I simply needed to add them through the website … and that only required me to pull to the side of the road and pull out my iPhone. Even as I work in the tech field and create mobile applications and websites for a living, here I was sitting on the side of the road applying it to real life, unplanned issues. Even 10 years ago, this would have been almost impossible.

… And of course, true to how problems quickly get out of control, the website would not properly load for me. I was losing driving time parked on the side of the road … so I called my life line and a friend was able to add the needed contact to the list and I was able to get back on the road. If there is one thing I have found over the last couple years is that nothing beats having friends you can lean on.

The power of having a community, often referred to as “your tribe”, is critical to push you forward and catch you when you fall. The problem I faced today was small … was a small monkey wrench in the daily life of being dad. There was no one to be mad at, it was no ones fault … in fact I never really saw why the traffic was held up. However, instead of squeezing tight on my steering wheel and racing into a ticket or an accident myself I asked for help – as life takes a community.

I am very grateful.

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