Well I’ve not had much to say in a long while. That’s because since March 31st, I’ve been laid up on the sofa tending to my broken ankle. Well this week I got up and went to work and it felt good to be off of daytime television.
Driving to work also gave me time to reflect on the 3 weeks I spent on the sofa and I discovered something very interesting.
When they want to, my boys are the most helpful, caring individuals on the planet. For starters, every day they walked in the door they would yell “Daddy…you home. And when I responded they would come marching into the family asking “are you ok?” Each day my oldest came home from school, he’d come right to me to ask how my day was and how my leg was doing. He’d want to look at it to see if he could see whether it was getting better. Everyday, both of the boys would find a seat in the recliners next to me and just sit and watch me. I don’t know if it was nerves or genuine concern but they were very interested in how I was doing.
When I started to move around more, they were at the ready. They always seemed to ask if I needed help carrying something, did I want them to get something for me, etc. They would help neatly put their laundry away after the nanny cleaned and folded it all. They helped me each night by getting their clean uniforms out for school the next day. When I did fix dinner, they would help bring dishes to the dining room table. When it was time to feed the dogs, they would get the dog bowls and bring them to the counter for me to prepare the meals and then they helped with feeding.
Suddenly they knew how to do things like put toothpaste on their own toothbrushes in the morning, dry themselves off after taking a bath at night, get dressed without my assistance, turn out their own bedroom light at night before going to bed, pick up their own dirty clothes placing them in the hamper and clean up after themselves should they make a spill at the dinning room table.
And through all of this, I made a discovery.
I learned that I baby my children. That my boys are capable of doing a lot more than I give them credit for. I learned that I was doing them no favor by not letting them do for themselves what they were capable of. So this long road to recovery has taught me to let go and to let them do more. I guess I imagined that by doing for them, I was showing my love. I thought I was nurturing them; allowing them to be children just a tiny bit longer…but was I? They are eager to show me what they can do and they love the idea that they are growing up and can do things they used to think were difficult. Shouldn’t I want that for them? Where did I get the indoctrination that a good parent did everything for their children giving them a life of ease without responsibilities?
The funny thing is, the world keeps turning even when I am no longer controlling things but am instead asking for their help and allowing them to show me all the cool things they can do for themselves!