I Get It, Mama

I had a moment of “oneness” with my Mama tonight.

It’s been quite a day.  My precious daughter is hospitalized, and we don’t really know what’s wrong.  I spent part of the day with her, part of the day with my sweet grandchildren, and most of the day worrying and praying about my beloved girl.

Mason and Jubilee, my grandbabies, were at daycare most
of the day, so it’s not like they’re the ones that exhausted me… but wow, I’m beat.  I played with them all evening, fed them dinner, got them ready for bed.  Jubi is getting some new teeth, so she was a little more weepy than usual, but nothing too extreme.  I wanted to get the dishes done and the kitchen tidied.  I was in there working, Jubi was asleep, and Mason was watching some Ninja Turtles when it happened.  He came in and said in a plaintive voice, “Nonny, I need you.”

Well, that was it.  I melted.  When he says that, it doesn't mean, “I need for you to do something for me.”  It means, “I need to be with you, right now.”  He usually says it to his Mom, but she wasn't there, because she was in a hospital bed down the road.  I was there, so he needed me.  I stopped what I was doing, and went and held him and watched some Ninja Turtles, and everything was better.  For both of us, I think.  The dishes still aren't done, but that will happen.

While I sat with him, I thought about another night.  It’s a night that is lost to me, and a night I've really only heard about second hand, for the most part.  Here’s how it went.
It had been quite a day.  I was in the hospital in California, where we had been visiting my parents.  They didn't know for sure what was going on yet, but they knew, at age 33, I’d had a stroke earlier that day.  My mom had spent part of the day with me, part of the day with my four school-aged children, and most of the day worrying and praying about her beloved girl.

My brothers and their families were also in town, and all the kids had been to the beach that day.  My mom had planned a family birthday celebration, so they all had cake and sweets that night.  I’m sure my kids were sugared up, wound up, giddy from fun with their cousins, and out of their element with their mom being gone, and I doubt they’d been told what was really going on.  My mom put them all to bed in one room, an "adventure" even on a good night.  There was giggling and chattering and laughter, and she went in several times to tell them to settle down and go to sleep. 

There’s a reason we have babies when we’re young – we’ve got more energy then.  Mom, that night, was out of energy, exhausted and worried, and she wasn’t in her 20’s any longer.  She’d had it.  And the kids just wouldn’t quit.  She finally went in that room, and said in a sharp voice, “I want you to SHUT UP, and go to sleep.”  And with that, there was dead silence.  She stood outside the door, feeling awful, and she heard Bonnie’s little elf voice say, “Ooooh, Nonny was fussing!”  (Which meant “cussing,” because at our house, “shut up” was as bad as cussing.)  That caused some snickering, and my Mom opened the door, went in, and apologized to them.  There was a lot of loving, and some explanation of how she was a “little worried,” and finally the kids went to sleep, safe and warm and loved.

I didn’t get aggravated with Mason and Jubilee tonight, and I didn’t “fuss,” but I was stressed, and worried, and focused on getting everything done.  I suddenly have new understanding for how my Mama must have felt that night when I was the one in the hospital, and my kids were the ones who were, in their own way, saying, “Nonny, I need you.”  I'm so glad she taught me through example that there's a time to set everything aside, and just love those babies.