Life has been busy this summer. Despite having time off from my "real" job, I have managed to fill the time with two jobs and a volunteer position. This week was crunch week. My two jobs overlapped and needed to be finished while my real job began calling me back. I told myself I had to put my head down and go into survival mode. Surely I could do it for one week.
And then, plans took an unexpected turn. I received a call that my grandmother needed to be admitted to the hospital. With that one call, all the spinning plates I had balancing in the air came crashing down. Painting, furniture moving, and all the other tasks that filled my days were forgotten.
My mother was taking care of my nieces and nephew. I took the kids so she could be with her mother. In a lot of ways, being with those four not-so-little-anymore people was exactly what I needed. Not just to distract me from what was going on at the hospital, but to give me the time I wanted with them instead of working. Here is the shortened version of what I got from the overnight experience:
1. A teenage girl can have her difficult moments, but family still matters most. She offered to finish dinner while I took a shower and got a bit teary-eyed when I told them all about what was going on with their great-grandmother. She even slept on the floor so her siblings could have the more comfortable spots.
2. My boy has the biggest, most giving heart. Oh, how I love that boy! There was no hesitation when I needed his help with various tasks. And despite reaching the age where he no longer wants to be hugged, I was on the receiving end of a giant hug.
3. My little Missy-Moo is growing up way too fast. At seven, she thinks she is too big for bedtime stories and wants to be with the "big kids." That being said, I was able to read to her before bed and got some serious snuggle time in first thing the next morning. She even did her creepy playing with my elbow thing she has done since she was a baby. I absolutely hate it, but who knows when the last time is coming.
4. Our little b. Most of the time little b is under the impression that she is really an only child. That being said, it was more than a bit moving to see her clean off the table and then set the table for dinner. I also got some one on one snuggle time with her as I had to read three bedtime stories. I'm pretty sure it's the longest the child has ever been still in her life.
5. As I was getting ready to go to bed, whispering an "I love you" to each one, I couldn't help but smile. They were all snuggling under the blankets I had made for them. The blankets had made the cut as they rushed around gathering things for the night.
The money I was supposed to make working has gone to someone else, but I am far richer. Being forced to slow down and see what was really important was worth far more to me than any amount of money. The hundreds of little moments that happened during those precious hours has filled me with tremendous pride, joy and love.