We own two tea kettles.
When someone is having a rough time, we put the kettle on. If someone is celebrating, we put the kettle on. It allows us to Be Still, think, calm down, and relax, but it also brings comfort. Tea is welcoming to friends and family. There is always time for tea.
Well, Its 11:39 pm here. My day started 4 days ago, when my daughter came home from a party and said: “I got bit by a dog, and my check engine light came on, but I’m fine really.”
Do you have a Mom Spidey sense? You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach that can pretty much predict whats going to happen next?
Well I do, and my Mom spidey sense told me we were going to be in urgent care the next morning, and sure enough, there we were.
So apparently the dog bite is serious. The little fella caught her right between her fingers in the knuckle joint, so now she can’t move her fingers, her hand looks like she went 12 rounds with a concrete wall, and my daughter is in a boat load of pain.
The rest is sort of a blur.
I knew my plans for the week were going to change. I knew my baby girls Christmas vacation plans were going to be different than she had hoped, but first and foremost, I knew that my family needed me, and no matter what anyone said, I would drop what I was doing, and be there for them, because we are a family, and that’s what we do.
4 days later: The car was towed to the shop with engine problems, it’s still there. After 2 trips to the Doctor to prevent infection, she is starting to look less like Mohamed Ali, and more like me, before my cooking classes, and after a fight with kitchen knives.
This is a humbling time for her. She can’t drive, she can’t shower, she can’t move her fingers, so anything that requires two hands, she can’t do. My independent daughter who flies in, and out of the house, like the energizer bunny, is now grounded, and she needs help.
Its hard to admit when we need help. We don’t want to rely on someone. We want to be independent, and then life teaches us about being still, stopping for a while, and we’re supposed to be ok with that.
But she’s struggling with it. She runs a classroom, she cares for other people’s children, she is more than capable of taking care of herself, but now, through no fault of her own, on her christmas vacation, she has to have “Mommy” do the smallest tasks for her, and it sucks!
For a Mom, moving into Mom mode is easy. The minute our families need us, we fall into action. I like to think we have our own invisible telephone booths like in Superman. One cry, one tear, one request, and we are ready to help, to guide, to support, love, and most importantly protect.
I believe its our job as Moms to be there for our families. But, if you read my last post, I was hell bent set on taking time for you. I even said: “When we keep making time for someone, or something else, but ignore ourselves, we send a message loud, and clear. The body keeps score, and eventually we will pay the price for ignoring the warning signs.”
I believe that, but I also believe that we live in a world where people do not make their families a priority anymore. Parents are overworked, stressed, and overwhelmed, as are their kids. If I can offer my family a little peace, comfort, and down time, then I am going to, even if that means my plans have to change, and I have to compromise a bit.
So yes, tonight my hubby, my partner in crime, Ricky Ricardo, to my Lucille Ball, got sick, and I had to tuck him in bed early, as it appears he’s fighting exhaustion. When I say this man works like a dog, I am not kidding. He busts his butt at his full time job, takes care of our 4 dogs, helps me do things my body won’t allow, takes me where I need to go, and he always puts others first and himself last. I told him to read my last blog post. He told me to do the same. Touche’!
But as I watched him sleep, the song: “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin started playing in my head.
Are you old enough to remember it? I used to love that song.
It’s a sad little song, that follows the father/son relationship. The moral of the song is that our kids are watching, they want to be like their parents.
In the song, the father is always busy, he puts off his son. But each time his son says: “I’m gonna be like him, yeah, you know I’m gonna be like him.”
Then one day the dad calls the son, and he’s too busy, so he puts off his dad.
And his dad says: “And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me, he’d grown up just like me, my boy was just like me.”
Tonight, through tears, my baby girl asked me: “When you were sick, did I take as good of care of you, as you are taking of me?”
She was referring to my cancer. She was just 11 yrs old, my son was just 14.
As I held back the tears, I listed all the things she did for me. At 11 years old, my daughter went into her invisible Super-kid phone booth, and came out ready to help, guide, support, love, and most importantly, protect me from that evil cancer. She was amazing, even at a time when she was terrified her Mom would die. When I watch her now with her students, I am in awe that God chose me to be her Mom.
Then tonight, as I listened to my son, and how he’s trying to make Christmas special for his fiance, I caught a glimpse of my husband in my son, and what an amazing man he’s turning out to be, and as I watch my baby girl grow up, I see a lot of myself in her.
Parenting is hard. We are given no books, we don’t always have support, sometimes we go into it blind, and with a lot of prayer. We have to know when to hold on, and when to let go. We are always on call waiting and we can only hope we have done enough.
I hope they remember where they came from. I hope they look back, and realize we did our best, even when we didn’t always see eye to eye. I hope hey forever remember the love their parents had for one another and I hoipe they spread that love forward.
And, as silly as it sounds, I hope they always make time for tea, because tea will comfort the hurting heart, heal the ailing body, bring joy, laughter and peace. Its part of them, its part of their heritage, its simple but meaningful, its a legacy we are leaving them.
Tonight it occurred to me, they grew up just like us.