Last night was filled with multiple awakenings by a sad, sick 4 year old child and empty of any quality sleep. Every 15 minutes I was desperately needed by this boy who was scared to death at the intensity of his illness.
The morning after a night like that always tests me and pushes my body to its limits. Of course there were multiple loads of sheets and towels and pajamas to launder. As I yawned and folded yet another fitted sheet I realized that my skills at folding fitted sheets are subpar.
My Mother certainly tried to teach me how to fold them neatly; hospital corners were expected in the making of a bed in my growing up home. My Mother is an amazing organizer and has neatness woven into her character. I missed out on that gene somehow. . The skill of somehow managing to control those rounded corners into a tidy pile of linen to be properly placed on a closet shelf was not something that transferred from my mother’s skill set into my own.
Last night when my sweet boy was wracked with illness and I held him and kissed his sweaty brow and rocked him and rubbed his back, I sang to him and gently put him back to sleep. Neat sheets were low on the priority list last night.
In addition to her skills with hospital corners and fitted sheets, my Mother also taught me about nurturing a sick child in the night. I remember being very young and getting horrible ear infections and sore throats. One of my earliest memories (probably the same age as my son), is of her, rocking me in the wee hours of the morning in the creaky old rocker, while singing “Bye-O" to me (our family lullaby). My Mom sings off key and always has, but I remember as a child thinking her voice was like an angel’s. I can almost picture this night in my mind’s eye, it is one of my very earliest memories.
I'm quite certain the skill of folding a fitted sheet pales in comparison to the most important lessons she taught me that night almost 40 years ago. Thank you Mom for all the life skills you taught me, but most of all thank you for teaching me through example that my children are worth sacrificing for, staying up for, and staying home for. I know through watching you that Motherhood is a noble and worthy calling and the best choice for my life. Happy Mother's Day!