A Touching Shocker!
Who Will Bring Me Food in My Old Age ???
There I was, the Mommy who takes care of everything, lying weak and prostrate in the hotel bed (though, of course, I was perfectly coiffed and impeccably dressed).
I am the mom who makes breakfast and lunches in the morning catering to each food critic’s palate preference and dietary requirements. I make sure everyone has their forms, sneakers, sushi, appointments, and teacher excuse notes before getting on the bus. That is if they get on the bus. And when they don’t, guess who drives them. I’ve got four of them home at the moment, so it is a juggling act.
On this particular occasion, I packed them all up including the hubby for the family holiday/extended family reunion weekend getaway with all the clothing and gear required. The minute we got to the hotel, the kids were running in all different directions enjoying their cousins, old friends and new as well as the programming catering just to them. Or, if there was no programming that appealed to them, cards for the teenagers, coffee klotches for the adolescent girls or plain old running in the open space of the lobby did just as well for the younger ones. They merely returned to the room to change clothes, go to the bathroom. Naturally, I was left folding and organizing much of the time (shoes go in the closet, underwear and socks go in the laundry bag and clothes get folded in any condition until the stay is over). However, I did manage to actually go to some adult programming as well.
Two thirds through said weekend, I develop fever, headache, and, uh, stomach issues. Kids are still running around. Meals are still being served. I am not in the mood. As I am lying there trying to figure out how I can get one of the crew to bring me some hydration or sustenance, my 13-year-old daughter comes in. She came in to see if I needed something and to keep me company. (Bet you thought that was the ‘shocker’ from the title. No-ooo…) I, Miss “got it all covered,” started tearing up from pride and joy. I was so touched by this act of kindness and nurturing from the one I still nurture. I think it surprised her too. I asked her for something hot for my shivering body. Warm potato kugel seemed perfect. She said fine and ran downstairs. I was salivating for the impending comfort food. She returned saying there was no kugel, but she held a plate of fruit salad. Warm it wasn’t. Who cares? It was the food of love (anybody hear Twelfth Night?). I felt even more nachas (Yiddish for joy or pleasure or pride).
After all, I knew she was having a great time. She was out constantly and changing even more than that! She had no interest in cracking open any books or notes for her impending finals, but she did come in to check on lil ‘ole me. The mother who doesn’t understand anything about iPods and celebrity gossip magazines, whom she thinks never experienced the desire to wear heels longer than the distance between her ankle and her knee, who always picks out the ‘oldest’ looking thing in the clothing store. For me, the fuddy duddy, she ran up to tend in my hour of need (the way I never do quite well enough for her according to said critic). And that made me cry? Why? I haven’t a clue. There I was, touched to the core. Maybe I am getting really, really old. Or at least as old as the style of shoes I always seem to pick out.
After the holiday was over and there was a mad dash to pack up EVERYTHING and dash out to arrive home at a decent time, my daughter comes in nonchalantly and says there is someone outside in the hall that wants to meet her parents. Uh oh. Do we owe any money for damages? Did one of the kids punch someone? Nope, came the next surprise. The woman who headed the programming for the teenage girls said that she had to meet my daughter’s parents because she had such a great sense of self and was so open and sharing. Wow. The little girl I carried (Sunrise, Sunset), who is the second to smallest in her grade, has turned into a sensitive and confident group facilitator and Florence Nightingale. That time I remained true to form, stalwart, and did not cry. A bright big smile of gratitude, both to the considerate group leader and to G-d, came over me.
Hey, at least I know I will have one child who might actually bring me something on a tray. It might even be hot this time.