There have been too many occasions for which my mother has had to fly in to rescue me. In my defense, if I were to outline each of these insurmountable situations, you would absolutely agree that rescue was needed, hands down. So, it’s not that I am a weak or incapable being, but if I were one of my sisters, or one of the three hundred other people who count on my mom for four million things, I might be slightly annoyed at daughter number four for her uncanny knack for attracting the impossible.
That said, one of these times specifically involved pre-term labor, a rambunctious 15 month old with a broken leg, a 16 ton cast, and doctor’s orders to “take it easy” (Because that phrase means so much to a mother of a 15 month old.) But, off she flew from East to West to help me do just that. She was there about a week before Isabelle decided that 40 week pregnancies are for suckers and 36 was quite enough, thank you very much.
During the weeks that followed, she helped my husband and I as we ran ragged trying to juggle two babies, and I dreaded the day that she would go. I kept on saying “how on earth am I going to do this by myself? There isn’t any way! How does anyone do this?!”
But, the day came. My mother had responsibilities at home that had been neglected for too long. Her own 95 (then 93) year old mother lives in her care, as well as my younger brother who has Down Syndrome. I had her for a whole month - Only-child style. It was then that I learned that we can surprise ourselves by our strength, resilience and resourcefulness once we are forced to go it alone.
The days and months ahead were not easy by any means, but I did actually learn that I could put two kids in the car without forgetting one of them in the driveway or the on roof of the car. Coming to the realization that you are not a complete moron feels really good. Thank you Mom, for cutting the cord.
Speaking of cutting cords….my mother swooped in the day before my vocal surgery and stayed for five days, three days longer than planned. After umpteen phone calls from my brother and grandmother, the guilt overtook me and I sent her home. I had only two more days before I would hopefully be able speak, and although my husband was working late for both of them I felt confident I would surprise myself with my brilliant and silent coping skills.
The first solo bedtime was a complete disaster and it was made abundantly clear that there is absolutely no way in hell you can take care of preschool aged children without speaking to them with no other adult present.
And yet, I was again reminded of my resourcefulness.
I picked up the phone and sent a text to the babysitter.
See? Trust yourself. You are capable. You are strong. You have everything you need.