It’s been very hard for me to ask for help these last three weeks, despite the fact that I truly need it. I mean, I can’t use my hands and walk at the same time, so I’ve had to rely on the kindness of others. They’ve been more than happy to help. Many friends and neighbors have offered their services; everything from childcare to carpool to meal preparation. I’ve been expressing my gratitude by saying thanks, by making a mental inventory of how best to repay everyone who has gone above and beyond. I’ve been saying “Thank you” so often, I sound like Elvis Presley after he finished a set.
1. Thanks to the nurses for excellent care and prep.
2. Thanks to the doctor for repairing my leg and the great Rx that came home with me.
3. Thanks to the Good Samaritans who held the doors open for me as I crutch my way in and out of stores and who offer to load my things into my car while I waited for my ride.
4. Thanks to my husband for truly honoring our vows, because this definitely falls under the “for worse” category.
5. Thanks to my daughters for being so well behaved, for all of the hugs, kisses and get well drawings.
6. Thanks to my mother-in-law for cooking, cleaning, baby bathing, and stimulating conversations.
7. Thanks to my dad for playing chauffeur for me and the kids.
8. Thanks to my mom for coming dusting off her own Superwoman cape and coming to my rescue once again.
My mom is pretty remarkable. I have had a chance this week to really sit back and marvel at it. This is a woman, who after having had double knee replacement surgery last year, has been trucking up and down the stairs daily to get the kids, dress the kids, put away laundry, and make sure I haven’t face-planted on the bathroom floor in my attempts to hop from the bed to the toilet.
This is a woman who put her reluctance (or is is just a case of “I’d-rather-not-thank-you-very-much”) to the side and not only made breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the family, but actually took the time to make faces out of English muffins, bacon and scrambled eggs. When faced with protest, she convinced the girls that they weren’t having peanut butter and jelly for lunch, but were in fact having jelly and peanut butter (big difference). And guess what? They ate it.
My mom simply shook her head when she saw me hopping around on one foot without my crutches, knowing what I hard head I have. While she may have wanted to knock me in the head with the crutch to get me to sit down, she knows how tough it has been for me to sit back and let people take care of things for me. When I said, “Hey, let’s go to Target. I’ll drive!”, she gamely got into the passenger seat and away we went. When I politely declined after she and the clerk suggested I get into one of those motorized carts (uh, no thanks!), she just checked in with me to make sure I wasn’t getting too tired as I hobbled from the shoe department to housewares to health and beauty. I treated her to her favorite Iced Chai Latte at Starbucks and we sat talking like two adult women, not just mother and daughter.
The other day, I remarked on how I have had lots of time to reflect and count my blessings. I’m definitely blessed to have my mom. There were times growing up when we go on one another’s nerves, times when I thought “Ugh, she just had me so that she wouldn’t have to empty the dishwasher/fold laundry/vacuum”, and times when I thought she was unreasonably unfair. I’m sure she could say the same for me, how my high maintenance, my talking back, my teenage foolishness and the like was enough to drive her bananas. But despite all that, I’m so thankful that we’ve come full circle. That she can see me parenting (and laugh her buns off when the girls are acting just the way I acted at the exact same age) is priceless. I love that I can now appreciate all of her hard work, her rules, her Classical Music Wednesdays, and all the ways in which she has shaped me into the mother, the wife, the woman that I am now. I love that she can see the fruits of her labor, both literally and figuratively.
There are so many more examples that I could give of how she’s easily taken the helm of running this household, but this post would never end. So, I’ll share two more little tidbits and call it even. The greatest gift my mom has given me since she’s been here has her appreciation of everything I do to make our family function. On several occasions, she’s just stopped what she’s doing and said, “I don’t know how you do it, Hilary. It’s pretty impressive.” That simple sentence has been the best balm. It has taken the ache out of my ankle, has made my heart swell and my throat tight. Yeah, I got a little verklempt.
Earlier, I said how my mom had been doing some cooking while she was here. We like to joke that my brother and I don’t know how we ate during childhood because we don’t really remember my mom doing any cooking. I mean, she must have, but I don’t remember seeing her at the stove, stirring anything in a pot. Food materialized, we ate, plates were cleared and the dishwasher ran. What I do remember is my mom teaching me how to make a Waldorf Salad. I haven’t had one in years; all I remember is apples, walnuts and mayo on a paper plate as I sat with my feet swinging back and forth at the kitchen table. I snacked on the salad while my mom drank diet Cream Soda Shasta. . .good times.
(recipe found here)
there are many variations, but this is the one that I remember
4 medium unpeeled red eating apples, cut into ¼- inch slices
Dash of lemon juice to keep apples from turning brown
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 cup of vanilla (or plain) yogurt
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
2 medium bananas-diced
1/2 cup of seedless grapes (cut lengthwise) 1/2 cup of orange juice
Toss ingredients and enjoy!
Happy Friday, y’all!