I remember as a little girl sitting on my bed with my feet tucked terrifyingly beneath me, praying desperately to God that if He just helped me make my legs move off the bed, into the ferocious ocean waters that were gusting around me with the shark fins and jaws snapping just millimeters away, those jaws that would tear me to pieces AND just helped me get to my Mom’s bed and safety that I would never again ask for anything ……
And He would, my legs would race down the corridor, arms pushing my parent’s door open and I would creep into bed with my Mum. She would wrap her arms around me and hold me safely, ask if I had a bad dream and we would snuggle down into the safety of dry shark-less land and I would ask God to do the same for me the next time it happened…. Promising fervently never to ask for anything again and again and again. How my mother ever slept I have no idea. I lie awake tossing and turning when one of the kids joins us in bed and eventually drag myself to their rooms to fall asleep. I admire my Mom for continuously allowing me to break her night’s sleep and for never swopping beds with me, but wrapping her arms around my tiny frame to protect me.
Being a Parent changes your own perspective on life. Remember saying, “I will never do that to my children?” or “I will never say that to my children?” Well think again, I am my parents (and every other parent out there’s) daughter. I hear myself saying things like : Eat your dinner there are lots of children out there that have no food on their plates, eat those vegetables you need the vitamins and minerals to grow strong and healthy, you are lucky there are so many children out there that do no have …..and so on. OR Be nice to others, think how you would feel if someone did that to you? Say thank you to your teachers for teaching you today. Say please when you want something and thank you for getting it or when someone does something nice for you. These are all behaviors that my parents taught me, things that I thank them for teaching me.
I remember weekends at the pool, playing cricket in the garden and braais. Sunday school runs and trips to Sno Haven (our local ice cream shop), reading the Sunday papers and eating hot rolls from the bakery and just relaxing. Chores. Tears and laughter. Family dinners and Birthdays with ice cream cakes. Tennis and more tennis. Mom mowing the lawn and tending her garden. Christmas holidays with family and friends, Christmas dinner and left over lunches, and the ho ho ho of Father Xmas dropping of the presents. Weddings and grand-children being born. Mom’s tears as she saw Sean being born. Fingers on the ICU window, as she waved goodbye to Jessica on her way home, without having held her yet. Loving arms of a Grandmother as she held Jess after her operation. Laughing at the little things the kids would do and remembering her own children at that age. Growing older. Leaving. Coming back. Sickness and health. Being a parent.
Now I ask God again for a favor, to keep my Mum safe and sound in His arms, for Him to wrap them around her and protect her while she goes through this ordeal, to be beside her and keep her safe, keep her strong and away from the ferocious water and snapping sharks.
For my Mom to know that we are all rooting for her, that this challenge that she has been given, will be overcome and she is going to be fit, strong and healthy again. That we all love her dearly, that she has many many people praying and thinking of her.
And one last thing God, one last favor, to be there for my family and keep them strong and safe and let them know that they are all in my thoughts and prayers.