Friday, October 4, 2013

A Little Help from My Friends

You know I hate it when my husband goes out of town.  I have not made that a secret.  By the time he comes back, my mascara is smeared under my eyes, the house is a wreck and I'm waiting to get away with my keys already in the ignition.  (Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating.  But only a little.)  This time, my friends were ready.  They were not going to let me experience this fate.  And they wouldn't take no for an answer.

The day after we got home from Ohio, my husband was back at the airport for a mix of fun and business.  The trip was to last six days and I felt optimistic.  I had just come off of a wonderfully relaxing vacation and I thought, "I can handle this!  What's the big deal!?  I must be such a wimp most of the time!"  But as I watched my youngest clutch his little arms around his daddy's neck and say, "Dada...Me Miss.  Miss Dada," I realized that I felt exactly the same way.  The only way we would get through all of this is to stay busy.

My sister came first.  I was telling her stories about the trip and then I mentioned in passing that my husband was already on another plane.  "What!?  That's in-sane," she said with her characteristic valley girl inflection.  "You can-not be by yourself this whole time.  I won't let you.  What are you doing now?  Come over," she commanded.  I told her I couldn't come right then but maybe we could do something the next night.  We met up for slushies and took the boys to run around at a park.  The hot streak has finally broken in Florida and it was freeing to be outside watching them roll down hills and chase each other down paths.

Next came my friend Kim.  She had offered a week before to have us over for dinner.  "Or you can just drop them off!" she had said.  "Whatever you need!"  I decided I would love some time with her so we all headed over for dinner.  I barely saw my children for three hours.  They played with her daughters nonstop while I had time to talk, enjoy a beautifully prepared dinner and, best of all, SIT for an extended period of time.

And lastly, my sweet friend Annale.  She rang my doorbell at four o'clock with her arms overflowing with grocery bags.  Her almost two year old toddled in beside her and I realized how much work it must have been to put all of this together.  I carried the bags into the kitchen and found a craft for the kids to do (pine cone bird feeders), a full dinner and cookies for the kids to decorate for dessert.  She not only prepared all of this but cleaned it up AND put my boys to bed for me.  I felt like a queen.

There is something amazing about being a care taker who is suddenly taken care of.  It's hard at first to receive - I wanted to jump in and help all of them a million times.  But I know that when I give a gift of service I want it to be received completely.  And so I did that for them.  As I prepare for my husbands return, I am happy to report that my house is cleaned up, my make-up is intact and I'm not running and screaming for the hills.  And that's all because of the wonderful women that I have in my life.

Is it difficult for you to receive gifts of service?  If so, get in some practice.  We all need to be taken care of once in awhile.

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