Thursday, March 1, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: Mortality

I didn't sleep last night. My alarm was set for 4:30 a.m. I needed to bring my mom to the hospital this morning for eye surgery. She has an issue with her retina & needs surgery to correct it or risk loosing her eyesight. I was nervous about the alarm going off & also nervous about my mom's surgery. There are so many variables but I need to believe it will all be okay. That rationale doesn't work at 3:00 am.

I picked my mom up at 5:30 am. She didn't sleep either - neither did my Dad, whose whole existence is dependent on her. My mom is not your typical senior citizen. She looks at least 10 years younger than her age. She has a personal trainer and goes to the gym 3 times a week. She recently got her braces off - yes braces in her 70's- because as we age, our teeth move & she didn't like this new look. She is a tough cookie.

I can be a tough cookie too. Especially with my kids. Although I try to be the opposite of my mom, some things are inevitable - some of her traits have rubbed off on me. Tough with my kids being one of them.

I didn't think I would be home this morning. I planned on spending the morning at the hospital with my mom but she didn't want me to stay. I made plans for my kids to get up & out the door on their own. I organized rides for them - made sure the big ones would take care of the little one - had all my ducks in a row. It turned out that I was back & didn't need to test my kids - to see if they could do it without me if they had to. Which started me thinking about mortality.

Do my kids have all the skills they need to make it without me? Have I given them enough basics to survive? I think so. The big ones know how to do laundry - I just started teaching Lu. They all know how to cook - though they might opt for Ramen noodles most days. They know how to make a bed and run a vacuum and clean a kitchen. They know how to write a Thank You note and walk the dog and sew a button. They know about homework & responsibility and to never pay retail. Which got me to thinking what life skills are they missing? What else do I need to pass on? My plan is to be around for a long time but life doesn't always work out as planned. I want to make sure my kids would be ok without me - but it's not something I want to think too much about. For now, my plan is to continue to teach them all those life skills..whether they are wanted or not! Some day they will get it - and hopefully, like me, appreciate everything their Mom taught them.

Cara's two cents: I've learned that we teach them even when we don't think we are. They see the examples we set and what's right. When they fly the nest you can be pleasantly surprised what has actually sunk in!


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