You all know I'm fiercely devoted to my kids soccer activities. I always feel like all the kids on the team are mine, and particularly with Mallory's team, the girls are really close and we are like a little soccer "family."
Well, this year one of my girls was unable to join in on the summer team because her mom just couldn't afford it. She's recently divorced and struggling to raise four kids while being unemployed for most of the last year. Without her saying anything, its been painfully obvious that the situation has been more than difficult and taking its toll on her daughter. The other girls have picked up on her sadness and have felt terrible that she wouldn't be playing in the summer activities.
When I mentioned this to another mom, her first reaction was "well, can't we do something about that?" And from there, another mom became involved, and we have devised a fundraiser that the team can be involved in so that we can raise enough money to cover the player's costs, plus plenty leftover to help out with other expenses. Although we all could have just pitched in to pay the bill, we felt that the fundraiser was a better approach, so that our friend wouldn't be embarrased at us offering a handout.
Today, we were able to quietly ask her if she would let us do this and after a little cajoling and a lot of tears (yes, from me, too!), she said yes. She said she had been feeling like such a failure being unable to do all she wanted to for her kids, but I think she's a rock star for not completely falling apart and putting her head in the sand.
I guess I'm just telling you all because I am still emotional about it. I feel so lucky that Mal has found such a wonderful team and and she is surrounded by really good people. My kids have been so blessed with opportunities and we have been fortunate enough to mostly be able to afford it, so it just feels right that I "pay it forward." In fact, when she protested that she would be unable to reciprocate, I told her she only needed to "pay it forward" at a time when she was able to.