It was so hot outside, so Aidan decided to stay in and to watch his favourite TV show. He was sitting in the living room sipping his home-made lemonade.
Mrs.Murphy, his neighbour, was looking after him and his siblings, Maya and Harry, while their mother, Helen, was away, she also cooked for them, and helped them with their homework.
So Aidan just finished his delicious drink, when the door suddenly swung open. It was his mother. Helen was home earlier than usual, and her behaviour was different: she asked nothing about school grades or activities, she didn’t play a little game with the younger children, or even said a few word to Mrs. Murphy, but headed straight to her room and closed the door.
Mrs.Murphy was puzzled. “It’s only 3 p.m., she is supposed to be at work, is she sick” the older lady wondered. She quietly nocked on Helen’s door. “Shall I leave, Helen? Since you are already home. But I will stay, if you need any help. Are you alright?”
The door opened just a touch, but it was enough for Mrs. Murphy to notice the woman’s red puffy face. “I’m sorry, I just need to have some alone time. You can go home. I appreciate your help.”
“Oh, not a problem at all,” Mrs. Murphy said with a reassuring smile. “If you change your mind, you can call any time. Take care.”
Helen smiled back through her tears and retreated back into her room. She was taking a deep breath trying to calm herself down.
Aidan almost finished watching his show, when he realised that Mrs.Murphy was gone, but his mom was still up in her room. He decided to check on her.
“Mom?” he asked. “Are you okay? Remember, you told me, nothing is worth crying.” He tried to hug her.
But Helen seemed distant. “I’m such a worthless mom, absolutely worthless..”, she finally whispered.
“What are you talking about!? You are the best! Ask Maya and Harry, they will say the same!”
“Baby, you say this, because you don’t know, that I failed you. My boss fired me. I have no job, no money to pay the bills. They got tired that I’m often late for work. They don’t understand, that I have to drop you off at the bus stop in the morning, take you brother and sister to kindergarten, also take care of the groceries. The didn’t even think twice, when they gave me a boot.”
“All this while, I was exhausted and stressed, yet I didn’t give up. Nobody was ready to listen to me about why I was late! It’ll be a while before Mom gets a job, sorry….”
“Everything will work out , don’t cry. And we will be ok too,” Aiden promised, hugging her.
When the classes were over the next day, Aiden didn’t hurry home as usual, he had a plan. He knew, where his mom worked, so he headed straight to her former office. At the entrance he was stopped by the guards.
“You’ve got the wrong address, young man. This is office building, you have no business here”.
“Actually, you are mistaking. I have something important to say to my mother’s boss.
“Is you mom here? You need to call her, and to ask her to com out”.
“She doesn’t work here any more, and that is what I’m going to talk about with her boss. Please move now so I can go inside.”
The guards exchanged glances and were about to kick Aiden out when they heard a voice calling out to them: “What’s the matter? Who is that little kid?”
Soon after, the company’s CEO, Mr. Mitchell’s car pulled over, and he got off. “What’s going on here?” he asked, confused.
The guards briefed him about the whole situation and Mr. Mitchell nodded his head carefully. Then he glanced Aiden. “Hello, I’m the owner of this company. My name is Andrew Mitchell. Would you like to talk in my office? We can’t have discussions outside on the streets like this,” he suggested.
“Yes, please,” Aiden replied. “And I’m in a hurry, so it better be quick.”
Mr. Mitchell lowered his glasses and smiled a little. “Sure. After you, young man….”
Mr. Mitchell asked his secretary to get him and Aiden drinks and walked the boy to his office. When young woman brought two cups of cocoa, Aiden refused to take the drink, saying that his mom would never allow to take any food from the stranger.
“Can we just talk real quick, my mom will be worrying at home, I didn’t tell her, where I’m going”.
“Alright, I’m all ears. What brought you here, young man?”, Mr. Mitchell asked.
“My mother’s name is Helen, and I’m Aiden. And you got fired her yesterday, and I know she is a good worker. She was just late. I know that’s bad, but even I’ve been late for school a few times. Should you have been so harsh on her?
You know, she is the most hardworking person, I know. And she does so much every single day. I’m an adult, but she has to take care of my younger brother and sister. She was so sad yesterday. May be you can give her the job back. She says, we won’t be able to handle the bills, if she doesn’t find a job. That’s why I came.”
Mr. Mitchell listened intently to Aiden and nodded, hiding his grin at the boy’s naivety. “Is that what the problem is, Aiden? Does your mother need her job back?”
Aiden nodded. “Yes. I apologize if I seem too biased. I mean, I understand you can’t be late for work, just as I can’t be late for school. But please, forgive her. I’ll help Mom around the house, so she’s never late again. I promise that.”
Mr. Mitchell nodded carefully. “OK, I’ll check, what I can do. You should go home now, young man. I will tell my driver to take you there…”
“Thank you, but I think, I should better take a bus”.
As Aiden entered the front door he saw his mom getting off the phone, she was smiling and thanking the person on the other line.
“What was it about, mom?” Aiden asked impatiently.
“Oh, honey, you wouldn’t believe it. I got my job back. Well, not exactly my old job, a better one. Now I will have time to see you off in the morning and be in time to the office. I can also get some job done remotely from home. This is such a great opportunity for me.”
Aiden smiled, thanking Mr. Mitchell deep down. “I’m so happy for you, mom, you deserve it”.
“I’m sorry, I have no idea, what are you talking about….” Helen replied, confused.
So Mr. Mitchell told her the whole story about how persuasive Aiden was, and how sincerely and lovingly he was talking about his mother. The woman’s eyes swelled with tears, as the story came to an end.
However, none of them knew the real reason why Mr. Mitchell hired Helen back. The reason was that he could relate to Helen’s plight as he had once been in Aiden’s shoes as a child.