Moving 3,000 miles from your hometown and dear family is not all fun and games. There are, however, a few perks.
Namely, family members you usually only see for an hour or so at a time come to visit and spend whole days with you. Even whole weeks.
And if you’re really lucky, almost three whole weeks.
When was the last time I spent three weeks with my mom almost all to myself, I wonder?
And then I wonder, how many 53 year old women take three weeks of their [busy, crazy, occupied with other adult children, not to mention still homeschooling three younger ones] lives to help their grown daughter and make more memories with her and her little family?
So while she was here, I tried to just absorb.
Here are some things I noted and will try to learn:
1. Mom has tons of energy. Tons. (I’m sorry for all the italics. I really am. It’s just my current mood, I suppose.) I’m not sure I can learn her energy level… but then again, maybe I can. It’s at least worth trying. Oh, and by the way, she has tons of cheerful energy. That’s worth noting, since I’ve been known to whirl through the house in a flurry of stress.
2. She just does it. “It” being whatever needs to be done. I’m prone to putting things off until I can do it just the way I want. For instance, I tend to think that laundry should be folded all at once, on a huge surface where I can make all of the piles I need… But Mom will grab 5 minutes and fold right there, on that half a table while overseeing Jameson’s lunch or whatever. I’ve been implementing this idea this week, and find tasks much more enjoyable when I just dive in, marrying the doing with living.
3. On the other hand, she doesn’t do all of it. First, my issue: I think that keeping house means dust should never have the chance to settle, and if it does, then I’ve failed. Mom’s not quite so easily undone. A bit of dust, a bed that’s not made till late morning, dishes from breakfast that wait to be washed… Sometimes, other things need to be done, and those things need to be put in perspective. ahh.
4. She works and plays all day long. What I mean is… well, again, my issue: I’m too “chore chart.” I have my list of things I have to do, and I try to do them as fast as I can so I can get to the things I want to do. My “real” life. Trouble is, now that I’m the mother and homemaker, and not just the daughter, that chore chart is my real life! So instead of freaking out trying to cross everything off by 10am, why not just settle into the fact that giving baths and making beds and changing diapers and getting lunch is what I do, and mingle it all with a few books, songs, and walks around the block? So what if it now takes all day. What else was I planning on doing, anyway? (The answer, by the way, is nothing.)
5. She spins so many plates partly by just being less OCD than I am. Get a life, Danica. Spend less time fluffing pillows (because I think if the pillows are smooshed ever, then I have failed to keep house) and instead, read a thought-provoking article. Do a little research on something that might stretch your brain. Reply to a few emails now and then. Maybe even a (gasp) phone call! Or just cuddle your babies and realize that is what you do, too. People have been known to grow into healthy adults, even in homes with smooshed throw pillows. (Good gracious.)
And a really big thing I always glean from her?
(Some of us got that genetically. Others of us have to actually learn to do so.)