helping is a tricky thing…

today a co-worker forwarded an e-mail from a church group of which she’s a member.

she said in the mail, i know you live in durham, and i thought maybe you could help.

the forwarded portion said that there is a woman who works at my company– her name was not given– who lives in durham. she has a new baby, a sick toddler, and her husband is very sick. could anyone take the kids for a while so she can get some rest?

in a situation like this, i don’t know where my excuses to say no end and my reasons begin. it’s been a good fifteen years since i last babysat, and that was for two healthy little boys who i knew quite well. a sick toddler and a newborn? In all honesty, i think that’s a _reason._ that’s not a situation that i think i can handle.

excuses included everything from the fact that it would be weird to help a total stranger, to the fact that my weekends are a precious category of free time.

and then there’s a part of me that wonders about broader issues like support networks, and why this family apparently doesn’t have one. good heavens, if one of y’all were in this situation, you would have already received my offer of assistance.

i didn’t write back.