“Why am I picking these up, again!”, “Where you born in a barn?”; these are things we all say, as moms and dads, as single parents, or even caretakers. We get exhausted just cleaning up the same messes over and over again. We lose sleep because we can’t remember if we made the coffee for his early morning appointment. We fall asleep last and get up before anyone else in the house. Our eyes are dark and baggy, our legs are unshaven (we can’t even remember when there weren’t), and we are probably wearing the same clothes we fell asleep in last night.
I know we have all been there. We think that there is no way we can make another moment in life. We feel as though there is no way anything could get worse. Then it happens!
The school nurse just phoned, and your daughter is sick and must be taken home.
We apologize, once more, to our boss. We grab our car keys and all the work and laptop that can be worked on at home. We rush out, forgetting that it is 20 degrees outside and your jacket was just locked in your office. You just keep going. You throw your load into the car and start the engine. The red light comes on and you recall that you were going to stop and get fuel on your way home tonight. You close your eyes and just pray that it will get you to your daughter and back home, making an empty promise to a vehicle that you will refuel it the next day.
You zoom to her school and walk in the nurse’s office, there she is. She is all red in the face, pouty lips, and tear-filled eyes. She simply utters the words, momma. You crumble. All the worries that are waiting you in the car and home pass like a fluttering butterfly. Your heart melts as she grabs your neck and lunges into your arms before you were ready. You sign the release as she is hanging on like a leach and you are happy to hold her. Your car is warm and she lays down in the back as your phone begins dialing the doctor. The pharmacy has the prescription ready and you head home. You phone Daddy and tell him what is happening. He comes in and you are passed out on the couch with your little dear in your arms, surrounded by paperwork and disney books, while the television plays a tune from Little Mermaid.
His hands are warm as they slide between you and her and your eyes open as the smile comes across your face and spreads to hers. The young man standing behind him looks as he has grown ten years overnight. Your smile passes to his face as he hands you a warm plate of dinner.
Your eyes travel around the room and glance into the kitchen to see the disaster that comes from two men preparing a meal. You were amazed at the mess and how you slept through it all.
Your eyes open. You sit up in the middle of your bed. Your arms are stretched across the bed as you had been seeking out the family you lost. The tears fall as if the event just happened, not two years ago. Your heart breaks and you lay down face first into your pillow weeping aloud.
Never take one moment, one mess, one sick day for granted. Be happy they are there to clean up after.