I will take care of you. Now.
Wednesday night, my husband was at Bible study, and I was feeling particularly worn out, crabby, and sick to my stomach. I kept looking at the clock and thinking, “Can I put the kids in bed yet?” But, it was only 7:00. So, I just laid down on the couch. My three boys were, thankfully, all playing nicely. I was a bit worried about the toddler-girl hurricane that I have named Audrey; she seems to know, innately, when the chances of success are the greatest for wreaking maximum havoc. But I guess I shouldn’t have been concerned.
It’s not like I keep forgetting that she’s a girl; it’s just that, still, after mothering only boys for nearly nine years before she graced our home, there are things that she comes up with that make me marvel; they’re just so un-boyish.
There I was, lying on the couch, and Audrey came over and looked at me with concern. She knit together her eyebrows in thought. Then, holding up a finger, she proclaimed, “I know! Wait a minute!!” She ran off, only to return with her favorite blanket. It’s a fuzzy striped blanket, complete with a silky tag that she clings to as she falls asleep. As long as she has the blanket, she can fall asleep virtually anywhere. Knowing that the blanket is a magical source of sleep inducement and comfort, she covered me — roughly, but as thoroughly as possible — with her blanket, tucking the tag right up against my cheek, as is her own preference. She stood back, and after surveying the effect with approval, she demanded, “Now, suck your thumb!”
Though I really was feeling cruddy, but I couldn’t help laugh and laugh. That actually wasn’t what Audrey was looking for; she was serious about taking care of me. “Stop laughing! Suck your thumb!” I pretended to suck my thumb, which she fell for, for about five seconds, then gave me a withering look that let me know that she was aware of my deception.
“Audrey, I don’t want to suck my thumb! Mommies don’t suck thumbs. But thank you so much for your blanket…”
“Now, I will give you cuddles.” She then crawled up next to me. Well, crawled up on me. I tried to tell her that my belly was too big, and that she needed to lay down, snugged up right next to me, on my arm, instead of on my 36-week-pregnant stomach. She finally assented, but then kept trying to sneakily wiggle her way back on top of my body, as if I wouldn’t notice. Pulling a corner of the blanket over herself, she popped her own thumb into her mouth and relaxed. For about 30 seconds. Then, throwing a bony elbow into my stomach, rose up and ran off to other things that probably needed her supervision, too.
This went on for about 20 minutes, until her bed time. She’d run back, check to see that the blanket was in order, crawl back up for a snuggle, then run off.
Physically, it didn’t make me feel any better. But emotionally and mentally?? Loads. Loads were lifted from my heart and mind by the strength of an undersized 2yo, bossy little girl.
After I did finally get all the kids in bed, I tended to an e-mail correspondence I was having with a friend, which, since it was quite an uneasy and difficult discussion, lowered me right back down into the depths. ~sigh~
Then, my hubby came home. I fixed up a plate of “second dinner” for him, as he’d had to wolf down a half-sized portion after work, and before Bible study. As he ate, we talked. As we talked, I realized the tension was lifting. A smile grew on my face. After about a 30 minute chat, I told him, “You have brought me such peace.”
Families. Dear God, what a gift they are. From the least to the greatest, each member is so absolutely important, and every member needs each other.