Thursday, May 6, 2010

If I Could Just Be More Like My Children

My titles teetered between the above, Confessions of a Household Cook and Don't Send Me Any Men Who Can't Pour their Own Coffee. I'm awful. I can't believe myself sometimes and that's just the plain truth. As much as I harp on my children to be good examples and to love unconditionally, you'd think I'd follow my own commands, but no. I stayed home yesterday with my children and my father-in-law so my husband could tie up some loose ends before leaving today to get our eldest from college. My day started off by rousing my boys to go with me to clean out their grandfather's fridge and kitchen and check to see if there was any damage from the flood other than the electricity being off for days. We gathered cleaning supplies and headed out. I could not believe the small road leading across to his house! The clear markings of mud over the roofs of houses, with people loading their front yards with all the contents left inside their houses waiting for trucks to return to gather more for the dump. Incredible traffic and people gathered in yards helping to the point of overflowing. As we entered granddaddy's house, we were pleasantly surprised by the clean smells, fresh air, running water and working electricity. We had very little to do because the fridge was working and most of the food seemed perfectly good. What a relief! We weaved back home talking to a co-worker along the way in case she needed us to swing over and do some cleaning but she was waiting for insurance adjusters and at a standstill. Back home granddaddy was somewhat happy that his place was in good shape but not interested in leaving our home just yet. No problem. Hmmmm. I next told the boys to make their grandfather a grilled cheese while I took the girls to shop for a few items for my daughter's friend whose home was a total loss. As noon hit while we were out, I called my sons to check in and they informed me that granddaddy was at the table but would wait for the "girls" for lunch. "That could be 2 o'clock." Long story, after dropping off cookware and a new mini hamster guy and accessing their other needs, we headed home to get a dresser. There granddaddy sat at the kitchen table. Frustrated I told him I'd be back to take care of lunch after I delivered this dresser. My boy jumped up and helped me load and deliver and on my return after 2 o'clock I began to make the grilled cheeses and serve. Fed the crew and sat down to my computer and in walks the man asking for me to warm up the last bit of coffee. No prob except the part where he referred to me as the household cook. I know, no big deal. I served and then the household cook went out to mow the 2.5 acres while her children went to a neighbors house. I ran in at 5 and he was at the kitchen table. Not time for dinner but I did put the meat in the oven and went back out to pick up my daughter and her friend. Home and back to the grass until 6, put all away and as I came in to finish up dinner, he's at the kitchen table. I finished cooking and served a nice meal. Every time I turned the corner granddaddy was asking when Margaret's young friend was leaving. We were trying to get her to stay the night but when her mom came to pick her up, granddaddy even walked to the door to make sure she left the building. And did she remember to get that school uniform that was hanging out for her all day?
I arranged with my sister-in-law for granddaddy to be picked up and taken home the next day at ten and he seemed a little sad. He's lonely and I'm awful. My 10 yr old boy came through to tell everyone goodnight (he's a hugger) and he shrugged his shoulders like "what the heck" and went and hugged his grandfather. All I could think all day was how tired I was and that I was more than an old fashion household cook and my son comes through and bam! hits me right in the unconditional love department. All day I thought how my good deeds had been negated by my bad attitude and unkind thoughts and I was right.
This morning we all said goodbye to granddaddy and I made sure to let him know that he was welcome any time, tragedy or not. Ya know, this guy is not like my father with 24 grandchildren who hug and kiss all over him and mess with him and he gives it right back. This man is the old fashion kind but he still needs love and attention just like the rest of us. Ugh. Why can't I just be more like my children?


  1. This is such a stressful time Julie. Remember your children learned that kind of love from you and your husband.

  2. Julie,
    Thanks for your comment on MCH today... will you please write back and tell me more? You can email me - the address is on my blog. I'd love to hear more about what's going on, especially the way you said folks are loving their neighbors through this. I think this whole story is grossly under-reported, and what amazes me is that we're not hearing about looting or crime sprees, as the YouTube video pointed out. Despite the loss, folks there seem to be behaving like civilized people. Bravo to them.

    Thanks for sharing whatever you can share. You're a writer, I see... I urge you to write the story.

  3. Julie,

    Be gentle with yourself dear one. You've been through a lot lately. You are kinder and more loving than you give yourself credit for! That is obvious. As Allison said above, your children had to first learn it from somewhere and I suspect they first encountered such generous love at their mama's knee ... or in her lap!

    May God grant you some rest and time to recoup and regroup from all you've been through.

    Happy Mother's Day!