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  • Photo du rédacteurValérie Gillet

It takes a village

On Sunday, just before my dance show started, my 4-year-old son locked himself up in the theatre's toilet.

His dance teacher and the rest of the dance school staff decided not to inform me of what was happening and to find a solution without me.

The show was due to start 20 minutes later and I was supposed to dance in the first choreography. If they had told me, I probably wouldn't have been able to be on stage on time.

So they told everybody not to tell me anything. The word passed on through the whole cast and everybody kept quiet while I was getting dressed and putting my make-up on

It was a hard 20 minutes for the staff. They had to calm down a crying little boy, trying to explain to him how to open the latch while getting tools to break the door down if needed.

Meanwhile, I was concentrating on my breath, remembering my moves, jumping up and down to wake my muscles up, and smiling at the dance school director, who smiled back at me while getting an update on the toilet situation through her headphones.

Barely 5 minutes before the show started, I saw my son arrive backstage with his little dancing friends. His dance teacher, red-eyed and pale, came to me and told me at last what had just happened. I was flabbergasted. She had rarely been so stressed out in her entire teaching career but had eventually managed to coach my 4-year-old into opening the lock and freeing himself.

That young woman is 25 years old. She's not my son's mom. She's not part of his family. She's not even a mom herself.

That young woman, with other 20-something dance teachers, took my place as a parent on Sunday solving one of the scariest situations a very young child can find themselves in and a worst-case scenario for any parent: being 4 and stuck alone somewhere small and dark with no way out, no food and nothing to drink.

You can be the most badass and acutely aware single parent in the world, you're not with your children 24/7, 365 days a year. It takes a village to raise a child (and to be able to continue dancing on stage as a solo mom with your two children on site).

When the village takes over without you even knowing and noticing it, you know you've woven yourself a good network of great people whom you can count on without even asking for help.

Without even knowing you needed help.

So next time you find yourself thinking you're all alone in a hostile world, think again: a surprise saviour could come to the rescue unexpectedly to save your day... your show... and maybe your kid, too.


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