Friday, February 22, 2013
Five Minute Friday Prompt: What Mama Did
In the mornings, she poured our cereal, the sugary Fruity Pebbles that are more like candy than anything else. She turned on Under the Umbrella Tree and did a few things for the day. We followed her into the kitchen and stretched out on the checker board linoleum and talked her ears off. She'd settle us again at our little table with crayons and some days, some scissors and paste.
In the afternoons, we'd go outside and play for hours. We'd hop on the tire swing and soar higher than the fence and then she'd play make believe right along with us and show us how to form mud pies and catch rolly-pollies. And we'd top it off with at least half an hour of Mother May I on the stoop.
Inside for dinner and visiting with Daddy and bedtime routines. And then. And then...
The agonizing hours after my head hit the pillow. The endless trips to the bathroom. The "worry stones" she gave me to rub and the other crazy tactics that never worked.
Finally, she just leaned into it and listened. Sometimes for a great deal of the night. The darkness of a five, six, seven year old's mind. The despair of eight, nine, ten year old's heart. The paralyzing fears over anything and everything- far away wars and the fiery cross I was convinced could show up at anytime in our yard because I loved black people and had learned of the Civil Rights Movement that day. The crippling thoughts of loosing someone closest to me that would never leave me, only ease its forceful grip. The pain of being friends with little girls who are mean. The terror of her leaving me at some point and getting in some sort of accident and never returning. The panic that sleep would never come.
That's what Momma did...she listened. She stayed. For hours. At great cost to her own sleep and sanity. She was the first person to walk through those things with me.
I only pray I can mother in the sacrificial way she did and that I'll never dismiss trying to meet the real needs of my children because it's too hard or burdensome or complicated.