Last night I was setting the table for the four of us. As usual, I put out the drinks and my older daughter has tap water with dinner. I was running the water for her glass, but it seem warmed, so I put it in the freezer for a few minutes, until it was time to eat. I called everyone in and saw that she was taking out a glass for herself, thinking I forgot hers. I said, "no, you don’t need a glass I didn’t forget you, I was just chilling your water", and I took it out of the freezer. With a big smile on her face she says, “How was I supposed to know you put my glass in the freezer?”
There is the topic of a nice discussion. How many dozens of thing do mothers do that are requested and how many hundreds of things do we do when we anticipate a need, without ever having to be told? That is the point I have been trying to make for years. Who thinks about Moms in the same way?
Yesterday, I baked fresh chocolate chip cookies for my younger daughter. She loves them and she has been studying for finals, so I try to make her life pleasant in other ways so she can get through the next few days. When she is on her way home, I make sure to unlock the door so she doesn’t have to dig for her keys, I have the light on in the living room because that’s where she studies and florescent bulbs take a couple of minutes to warm up. Tuesday mornings I go out early and get her a bagel for breakfast because that keeps her full till she gets home, since she has no breaks for lunch. Wednesdays, on her day off, I make her funnel cakes. On the days she brings her lab coat home in a bag, I take it out and carefully refold it for the next time she needs it. Last night, I made her mashed potatoes, even though baked potatoes are much easier, because she loves them.
My older daughter also gets her share of TLC. Every morning I get up at 6:15 am, have breakfast, and then make her lunch to take to work. Her lunch is a production, not just a simple sandwich and piece of fruit. The bread must be changed or varied so we use whole wheat with honey, oat bread, rye bread and rolls. Lunch meat must be rotated one week ham and cheese or egg salad, next week pepperoni and cheese or pastrami, occasionally turkey. Fruit is now a problem since the summer strawberries and cherries are gone. Now I use grapes or a banana on occasion. However, she likes red grapes, but not the kind they use to make wine! I substitute fruit with small tomatoes, cucumber or raw broccoli and salad dressing. For snack I throw in raspberry fig newtons now and then or a strawberry pop tart. This can all take about 15 or 20 minutes depending on the menu. I do this without being asked. Why? To make sure she eats a nutritious lunch and doesn’t have to get up a minute earlier to make it. Instead I get up earlier so she can sleep till the last minute. I also took a walk yesterday to buy two small items she need for a Christmas gift she was giving. I know she has little time on the weekends and sometimes feels overwhelmed. I helped her pack up her old laptop in a box so she could start using the new one we got her for Christmas early. She seemed happy with it.
Now, that’s just a few little things among hundreds of others that I do for them. I don’t have to do it, but I know it’s making a difference in their lives. Mothers all do things like that for their children, no matter how old they get. We do it without having to be asked, told, reminded, nagged. We do it out of love. We do it because we want to do it.
My mother used to do those things for me too. I just thought it was part of her “job” as a mother. But it wasn’t. She went above and beyond everyday, to make our lives better. That’s why I turned out to be the kind of mother I am.
Too bad there isn’t a way to make kids realize all the things they take for granted while they can still show their mothers how much they truly appreciate all they do for them. We don’t look for it, but sometimes the smallest things can make all the difference.