I am just getting over a bad cold. I rarely get sick, and even when I do, it’s normally not that bad. But these last few days I felt that my head was pounding, and I had no energy to do anything. Thankfully I didn’t have anything urgent to do, other than attending to my daily routine, and this is where some pixie dust must have fallen.
As a mom, I worry about teaching my kids the important things in life, like kindness, resilience, altruism, self-respect, conscientiousness. As we go about our daily lives, we don’t really notice the day to day changes that occur, partly because we’re so close to the action, partly because we are distracted ourselves, with our own meta-problems. But once in a while you are faced with a challenge where true colors are going to reveal themselves. These last few days were one such occasion.
My kids are older and more independent now, so I don’t have to look after their every need, they can somewhat figure things out, and do many of them on their own, with little or no guidance. But what came as a great help, wasn’t so much that they didn’t require me to do everything for them, but they would seek out ways to help me do things for myself, too! I was lying on the couch, so I could be close to them, but truly in no position to actually be of any help at all. It didn’t surprise me that the older kids fended for themselves and helped each other, or even that they would try to keep quiet and safe so I could get some rest; what delighted me most, was that even the youngest would come and cover me with extra blankets, bring me tea, and run their fingers through my hair to soothe me.
It’s not unusual for me to feel that I’m not really doing enough as a parent, that perhaps I could do more, that there’s got to be something I’m missing. But in days like these, I do get a sense of relief… that I must be doing something right after all! These are the moments in which all the sleepless nights, the endless cleaning, the thankless trips left, right and around in circles, seem worthwhile. Maybe they are catching on to a lot more than I am consciously doing. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, after all, we all know that people, children in particular, learn more from your actions than from your words, but I must admit it is reassuring that despite my flaws, they are picking up some useful aspects of my very peculiar personality as well, and that’s tremendously reassuring! And despite the fact that they are still young, I am hoping that the characters they are developing surpass my expectations. In days like these, my hope is renewed, and I suddenly feel re-energized, ready for another round of “thankless” tasks that aren’t, after all, getting lost in the big shuffle of life!