Probability and the Kindness of Strangers

This is an important week for me. My little guy is headed to Duke for surgery, which entails all sorts of logistics. This was complicated when my phone and wallet were taken from a park I frequently visit and not returned. I was gone for less than 2 hours between when it fell out of my stroller and when I returned, only to be told a “Good Samaritan” asked around and took it home. I was hopeful!

vivien leigh

But she didn’t answer the calls or texts. She didn’t turn it into the police or phone store. She didn’t Facebook me from the IDs. No, she just did who-knows-what, leaving me for a weekend to marinate in my own stress of not having ID that acts as insurance card, a driver’s license, the contact information for our therapists and doctors, etc. We held out hope while taking every possible safety precaution and then we waited.

Folks, this is a military town. The law of the land is Murphy’s Law; if it can go wrong, it will.


I have 24 ours to replace a phone, research vital contact info, and try to replace all the IDs possible…which means phone calls to government-run facilities.



Today was a day of action. Cards were re-ordered. Phone calls were made. Applications were sent off. I met my man off-post so he could drive me on-post to get a new ID…with children. Chances that my kid would fall asleep?


It’s Risky Business.


My Man commented, “Oh, the kids are here. I guess I knew they would be, but for some reason it didn’t register.”

Yes, Dear. I bring the kids and double stroller to these things. It’s called “daytime motherhood”.

Probability that I would bring both kids? 100%

We waited until 4:05 to check in for our 4:20 appointment when we were greeted rather abruptly.

Probability of getting a KIND and helpful clerk? 25-50% at best.

I had everything I needed…except a signed sworn statement from the Military Police declaring the theft of my ID. I didn’t even get a “sorry”. Nay, she rolled her eyes when handing me directions to the MP station!

So off I rolled my double stroller to the car to make the drive over. At the very least, I could have it ready for an early-morning appointment before the 1.5 hour drive. Off we went. Seatbelts clicked, strollers collapsed and opened, I did a gymnast routine to keep the door open and roll a double-stroller in without letting the door hit me on the way out…but we got it all done by 4:25. Could I make it back to the other building in time to catch the 4:30 appointment time slot without leaving the kids in the car?



No. Oh, no. 4:35.

I snapped the children into the stroller in a rapid frenzy, smiled at the 4 men who watched me lift the huge stroller and two children over the curb as they walked by (REALLY?!) and RAN into the support center…in the RAIN.

Probability everything would be closed? 100%.


I caught my breath and tried to make an appointment on the automated machine…but the slots were full. As a receptionist for the building gave me a laugh of pity, I wondered aloud if I could knock and see if the employees were still in the office. Maybe, just MAYBE someone could help me.


I rolled my traveling circus through a chair obstacle course and knocked. One woman peeked through the door and ignored me. Then another answered. Her facial expression conveyed that I was about to be shut down.

Oh, I played the “my kid is having surgery and I need help” card. When the kids are involved, I’m all in.


It worked. This cute girl walked me back to her office that was decorated with Pre-K artwork. She was a mom.

There were some problems getting everything into the system and a supervisor had to give us the okay, but by quitting time I had a new ID. PRAISE THE LORD for fellow mothers who help a sister out.

As we left the building, three- yes, THREE men held the doors open for the boys and I as we paraded through two sets of double doors. I thanked them profusely. We strolled through the lightening drizzle as the warning for “Retreat” echoed on the humidity some affectionately call “air”.

I arrived home to find a care package from a dear friend. It was to get me through this week in the hospital; delicious baked goods, magazines, a heart-felt card, and quarters for a vending machine Coke. Amazing.

Hopefully by noon tomorrow our bags will be packed, our ducks will be in a row, and things will be a little more in order.

tomorrow is another day

With strangers, you never know…but when people come through, they really come through.

Thank you. With my support system around, my chances are always good.


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