This morning when Joe was getting up to go to work I mumbled incoherently “I’ve been to hell and back in one night”. Yes, I am a drama queen and that was an overstatement, but it was pretty awful. Any parent can relate to this:
Last night, just as I drifted off to sleep after an incredibly busy day, a little girl came to my bed, “Mom? My tummy hurts” (Don’t panic. It was Easter Candy Consumption issues.) and that was the beginning of the end. I offered the love, the compassion, the Tylenol (is there *any* medication for under-12-year-old tummy aches?), and the couch. Thirty minutes later she returned…and again…and again. Finally, I simply moved to the couch with her. When I would start to drift off, she would cry…or moan…or whimper. Once when I got quiet, she startled awake, “MOM! Oh….I just thought you had left!” This went on for three hours…followed by the inevitable vomiting…followed by an hour clean-up. And then, after she crawled up in her bed–fully healed, glory Hallelujah!–and fell in to a deep slumber, I *of course* couldn’t sleep.
This morning I wake very late to find her humming a little tune as she chomps on her cereal! She looks up brightly, “Good morning, Mom!” I just had to laugh. “Umm….how about a ‘thank you, Mom’ for last night’s love and support?” She giggles, “Yeah…I was trying to think how to say that…”
But here’s the thing. I didn’t DO anything. I had no magical cure. Heck, I didn’t even have the appropriate medicine! I felt so helpless and ineffective. Yet she wanted me there…begged for me to be there and panicked if I wasn’t. What was I to her in those hours? I was simply being. My being was with her being and there was great comfort in that. So many times I get caught up with what I can do or what I can say but many times the hurting people in my life just need me to BE. Most children have a grasp of this and know to ask for it. My child even said so eloquently, “I just feel better with you here”. Adults, however, sometimes have a hard time asking for it.
It gives meaning to the phrase “just be there for me”.
And so I take a deep breath… let go of my perceived wisdom, abilities, talents, information…and determine to simply “be there” for the people in my life….