A single mother with three children is suddenly fired for failing to show up for work on time. Seeing that his mother is upset about losing her job, her 11-year-old son decides to meet her former boss on her behalf.
Aidan is sitting in the living room watching his favourite programme. Usually at this time of day he is in the park with his friends, but as it was very hot, he decided to stay at home..
His neighbour, Mrs Murphy, who was looking after him and his two siblings, Maya and Harry, while their mother, Helen, was away, gave him a delicious lemonade when he came home from school. He was sipping his delicious drink while watching television when the front door opened.
Helen came home earlier than usual, but she didn’t ask Aiden how his day at school was, and she didn’t even notice him on the sofa. She went straight to her room and locked the door.
Mrs Murphy was in the kitchen when Helen came home. “She’s home early today. Is she ill?” – The old lady inquired. She knocked on Helen’s door. “Since you’re back, Helen, I’ll be leaving now. If you need any help with anything, you can let me know. But are you all right?”
After a few moments Helen opened the door slightly and Mrs Murphy noticed that her eyes were red and puffy. “Sorry, I just want to be alone for a while. You can go home now. I appreciate your help.”
“Oh, no problem,” Mrs Murphy said with a reassuring smile. “I’ll always be in touch if you need help, okay? Take care.”
Helen nodded and lay back on the bed, hiding her face in her hands and struggling to hold back the tears streaming down her cheeks.
Aidan was focused on his show until he noticed that his mother looked upset. When Mrs Murphy left, he ran to her room.
“Mum?” he asked. “Are you all right? Please don’t cry.” He hugged her gently.
“I’m so sorry, Aidan,” she whispered, “I’m a terrible mum. A horrible, horrible mummy.”
“Not at all, Mummy!” objected Aiden. “You’re the best mummy ever! Why do you say that?”
“Because nice,” she said with a chuckle. “I’ve been fired. I don’t have a job anymore. I don’t know how I’m going to pay the bills. I have to make breakfast early in the morning, drop you off at the bus stop, take care of groceries and more, and that’s why I’m late for work. They didn’t hesitate to fire me for that!
During all this time I was exhausted and stressed, but I didn’t give up. Nobody cared why I was late! It would be some time before my mother found another job, sorry….”.
“Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be all right. You’ll be all right,” Aiden promised, hugging her.
The next day, after school, Aidan did not go home. Instead, he decided to go to his mother’s office to talk to her boss. He found the office address on a business card and, when he arrived, hurried in through the main door. But he was stopped at the entrance by two security guards.
“Where do you think you’re going, kid?” – one of the guards asked, blocking his way.
“It’s an emergency. I need to speak to my mother’s superior,” he replied.
“Don’t you know that children are not allowed in here? Is your mother in the office? I can call her-”
“No, you can’t!” answered Aiden angrily. “And that’s why I need to talk to her boss. Please let me in.”
Shortly thereafter, the company CEO’s car, Mr. Mitchell, pulled up and he got out of it. “What’s going on here?” – he asked puzzled.
The guards exchanged glances and were about to kick Aiden out when they heard a voice say, “What’s going on? Who is this little boy?”
The guards briefed him on the whole situation, and Mr. Mitchell nodded thoughtfully. Then he turned to Aiden. “Hello, I am the owner of this business. My name is Andrew Mitchell. Would you like to talk in my office? We can’t have this kind of discussion outside,” he offered.
“Yes, please,” Aiden replied. “And I’m in a hurry, so we’d better be quick.”
Mr. Mitchell lowered his glasses and smiled slightly. “Of course. After you, young man…..”
Mitchell asked his secretary to get Aiden something to drink in the cafeteria while they both sat in his office, but Aiden refused. “Mom says it’s not nice to take things from strangers, so that’s okay. Can we have a quick talk about why I’m here? Mom’s waiting for me at home.”
Mr. Mitchell smiled. “Sure, of course. So, what did you want to talk about?”
“My name is Aiden, and my mother’s name is Helen,” Aiden began. “She got fired from her job yesterday, even though she didn’t do anything wrong. She was just late for work. I know, I know, it’s wrong, but even I’m late for school sometimes! You can’t be so hard on her!”
“My mom is a very hard worker, and she has a lot to do every day. I have two younger siblings, and she takes care of all of our needs, even though she is very busy. She was very upset when she was laid off. Could you please give her a job again? She says she can’t pay our bills without it. You see, this is a serious thing!”
Mr. Mitchell listened attentively to Aiden and nodded, hiding a smile from the boy’s naivety. “Is that the problem, Aiden? Does your mom need to go back to work?”.
Aiden nodded. “Yes. I apologize if my words sound too biased. That is, I understand that you can’t be late for work, as well as for school. But please forgive her. I will help my mom around the house so that she will never be late again. I promise you that.”
Mr. Mitchell nodded warily. “Okay, I’ll take care of it. I suggest you go home. If you want, my driver can take you…”
“I’ll be fine, and thank you,” Aiden replied and left.
When Aiden returned home, he noticed Helen talking on the phone and smiling. She saw him enter the house, gave a quick thank you, and hung up.
“Mom, what are you…” Aiden barely had time to start talking before Helen hugged him.
“Oh, I’m back at work, honey! I’m back to work! And that’s not all. I got a promotion! We don’t have to worry anymore!”
Aiden smiled, thanking Mr. Mitchell in his heart. “Congratulations, Mother,” he whispered to her.
The next day, when Helen returned to work, Mr. Mitchell paid her a visit. “May I come in?” he asked, knocking on her office door.
“Yes, of course, sir,” she replied, rising from her seat.
“You raised your boy well, Helen,” he said. “He is a true gentleman who is always ready to defend his mother. If I had known your situation, I never would have fired you. Do you know what your little boy has done?”
“I – I don’t understand….,” Helen replied, embarrassed.
Then Mr. Mitchell explained how Aiden had met him the day before and convinced him to take her back to work. After hearing the whole story, tears came to Helen’s eyes.
However, neither of them knew the real reason why Mr. Mitchell had hired Helen back. The reason was that he understood Aiden’s pain, for he himself had been in his shoes as a child.