He sits parked in his “rock rock chair” as the morning sunlight fades to noon and it begins to rain, again, for the 5th day in a row.
We haven’t left the house in 3 days, he and I.
I feel a bit stir crazy and a bit at peace all at once.
It’s nice to occasionally forgo the trouble of getting dressed.
I walk barefooted into the kitchen collecting granola crumbs as I go. Living with a toddler makes crumbs become a part of daily life.
I methodically count the cups of water as I pour them into the pot. Even though we are doing a CSA, we still have a bag of Bear Creek soup left that I am so thankful for. Though a more seasoned cook would not count the cups, my specialty of non-cooking allows me to find comfort in exact measurements and package directions.
As I count, measure and pour I think back to my own childhood. Days of fevers and coughs, breathing treatments and inhalers. I spent may days spewed out on the blue microfiber couch eating chicken noodle soup, watching tv, and soaking in the scent of White Shoulders perfume from my mom.
I don’t have to do this with him too often. Days of nothing and sick and chicken noodle soup. But today, a 101.5 degree fever keeps us home and leaves school and to do lists waiting.
I’m not sure I’m very good at it. My mom always knew how to comfort me and just the right remedies. Sick care is not my specialty.
I spent childhood in and out of hospitals, frequently missing school, always having an inhaler on hand and years of nightly breathing treatments. Severe asthma and allergies makes frequent sickness a part of life. As miserable as it was for me, I can’t fathom the toll it must have taken on my mother.
I am so thankful that, for the most part, our little guy is healthy. There are not many days spent on the couch with soup here.
I think about how thankful and in awe I am of my mom, who spent many hours cuddling a sick child, wringing wet wash cloths and spooning medicine in between caring for two more little ones and working night shifts at the hospital.
The soup finally takes boil on the stove and I survey the pile of dirty coffee cups decorating my counter top and laundry piled in the basket on top of the washer. Didn’t I just do dishes and laundry yesterday? I am so often bored by the monotony of my job description.
“Here you go, sweet boy,” I say as I place a bowl of soup on the coffee table for him. We are breaking the rules and eating in the living room to a background of Peter Rabbit.
“Mmm, soup!” He says as he stirs in his ice, his favorite method of quick cooling.
I cuddle up next to him and take a sip myself.
And then it came full circle, the cliche you always hear about, how you will never know your mother’s love for you until you have a child of your own.
For such a long time I’ve felt like this was just my journey, me finding my footing on the path of motherhood while my son teaches me what he needs. It’s taken me a long time to fall comfortably into this role, even though I know I’ve done the best I could since the beginning.
I know, intrinsically, that it is my mother who taught me everything I know about being a mother. How to care and love and comfort and sacrifice.
I watch my son spoon his soup slowly.
“Mommy, why do you always look at me and smile?”
I continued my gaze, unaware that I was softly smiling. “I just love you very much.”
And I’m so thankful for the person that gave me that gift.
Happy Belated Mother’s Day to the amazing woman I’m lucky enough to call my Mom.