Fern Lake

It’s Fine

I texted the Ginja Ninja this morning, to remind her about a few things that needed doing around the house. The Junior Mad Scientist is home (woo-hoo!) for her ‘spring break’ from her homeschooling year with Grandma, and I know the girls would probably rather chat than work. Tomorrow the GN goes back to regular school schedule, but… you can work and chat at the same time, and that’s what I need them to do. We have a lot of work around the house to do, after a weekend away, and with the move edging ever closer. I was thinking about this and what we did this weekend…

Going down to Kentucky to help Mom move into her new place wasn’t quite the same as the kids doing their chores. But it was, at the same time. We help family out, as much as we can. It’s not giving money – that’s not what Mom needed. She needed strong backs to lug stuff out of the uHaul truck and into the house, more or less into the proper rooms. And sure, she might have been able to hire someone to do that, but it would have been difficult to find people in a new state. And I was going to be there anyway to see her and my sister and most especially my daughter after a long time apart. It’s not like we haven’t phoned and texted and emailed. It’s that giving someone a hug is different and much more satisfying. And working alongside them is also good, in a different way. Sure, I’m stiff and sore (and the kids probably are, too) today. Ow. Also, bruised and sunburned. But it’s all good. We got Mom into the house, albeit with a ton of work still needed. Step one, accomplished.

Family obligations don’t end just because Mom is 60 and I’m 40. My daughters, at 17 and (almost) 16, are obligated to do their chores by virtue of being under my roof and subject to house rules. The First Reader and I don’t put a lot on them, but we do expect a token amount of work at least. By doing chores and living up to their obligations they will be more successful in life. Now, if only I could persuade the Ginja and Little Man of this! We all have stuff we don’t want to do. There are definitely days like today where we face Monday with bleary eyes and tired bodies before the week is begun. Much less do we want to come home after work and cook dinner. But we do, because we’re adults. This is what adults do, they face the unpleasant necessities of life and do them. I’d rather have spent my Monday lunch relaxing and reading, but instead I was calling insurance to replace the windshield that was destroyed by a flying rock this weekend. I ate my sandwich in between words I was supposed to say, and I can’t remember how it tasted. Fuel, not good food. Sigh…

It pays off. For all the scheduling nightmares and seeming unending flow of appointments, errands, and commitments, there are the down times. The times we can sit and talk. The times we can watch the hills grow green in the spring, or the sky dawn in pastels behind the new-fallen snow covering all the trees. The moment where you can hug your loved ones and appreciate that you still have them to hold onto. It’s fine. I’m fine. Life is fine.