Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gratitude Adjustment

Thursday morning, I was mad. I was mad as a hornet at Rose.

We'd gotten into it over whose job it was to do the dishes. It was hers. She said it wasn't. This happens all the time in our house. I call it passing the buck.

Anyway, she headed off to school Thursday morning, not having done the dishes, and I did them. And boy was I mad.

I stayed mad all day. I was ready to tear into Rose when she got home. I was righteously angry. I was justified; I was right, she was wrong, and she should have to do the dishes for a week more. She should thank me for doing the job she so carelessly tossed onto my shoulders. She should offer to do the dishes for the next month. She should fall to her her knees and grovel for mercy at my feet.

Barbie called later that afternoon, while I was on an errand, to say that Rose had injured herself at tennis.

So I walked in, and there was Rose with her ankle elevated.

I was still mad. It was all over my face. Rotten kid! She had to sit right in front of the back door, blocking everyone's access? I could barely get the door open. Why are children so self-centered?

So I had her move chairs, and I went to examine her ankle. Can you move your toes? Can you move your foot at all?

And she started really crying then. She kept saying "I'm so stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Why did I wear those shoes?" I could tell it really hurt, and that she didn't want to cry.

Now, Rose doesn't generally cry. She's a tough kid who plays hard and only cries when she's frustrated by a lack of ability to please everyone. She seldom cries over an injury.

I only hesitated for a second before I said "That's it, let's go." We got into the car and headed for the ER. She needed an x-ray and I knew it. And this did not bode well for a tennis scholarship in the fall if she had to spend the summer recovering from a broken ankle. Yet another reason for me to be irritated. Great, just great. Kids!

We got into the ER and signed in, and started waiting. I called home and asked them to tell Hunk O Man where we were and why.

I got a tiny bit less mad. There were about a bazillion people in the waiting room, and I knew it was going to take forever. Like two or three hours of forever, I thought.

There was no wheelchair available, so I sat down on the floor and propped her foot up on my knee. I retied dishtowel with the ice in it. Rose said "You don't have to sit there, Mom" I knew it. But she would REALLY owe me if I sat there plus I had done the dishes.

(but I really didn't mind that much, sitting there on the floor. I had to manufacture some of the anger I still felt over the dishes)

An orderly saw me sitting, and found us a stool for her foot. We waited some more.

Hunk O Man came in and sat with us. Then he went and got us chips and soda. We debated over who should stay with her, and I told him I would because he'd been working all day. Yes, I would be the martyr who stayed with her, the horrible person who had so blatantly treated me like trash.

(except I had to drum up some of that too, really, because at this point I was getting mad that we hadn't been seen after about 3 hours)

He left his laptop and went back home.

We waited some more. I checked and found out 4 people were ahead of us. Our good friend Miss Nancy brought us crutches to use. Hunk O Man had been home making phone calls.

I was worried that Rose was in pain. I kept asking "Does it hurt?"

Rose and I played a game online called "tanks" and I beat her. But only because she accidentally blew herself up. I found out she'd been playing solo tennis against two boys, and was running to return a ball when she rolled her ankle. She had been wearing a pair of sneakers, but they weren't her good tennis shoes. That's why she kept calling herself stupid. She was afraid she'd really hurt herself and it would prevent her playing tennis in college.

Then she said, "Mom, I know this isn't the time, but I'm sorry I yelled at you last night over the dishes."

Huh? What? When did you yell at me? Over what?

By this time, about four hours had gone by, and my firstborn baby girl was being ignored by these idiot ER people. At least six people had already been called, and it had been her turn after four. I was ready to stand up and say "Can I just get an X-ray, people?"

You know, the thing about being humbled? It's just so -- so -- HUMBLING.

It took a lot of energy for me to be that mad -- for that long -- over the dishes. The dishes, of all things! What a waste!

What if she'd fallen and hit her head and had some kind of brain injury? What if she'd broken not just her ankle, but her leg? What if it had all been caused by a brain aneurysm? What if they x-rayed her ankle and found cancer?

Suffice it to say that SIX hours later, we finally got the x-ray, and ten minutes after that we were on our way home with a wrapped, sprained ankle. Thank God.

Thank God for my baby girl who did not have a broken ankle. Thank God that I was there to take her to the hospital. Thank God it was me who stayed with her and not her daddy. Thank God I have her as a daughter, that God gave her to me, and that she wasn't badly hurt. Thank God for my Rose.

When I lived in southern California, years ago -- surrounded by people blessed with wealth and money, I used to say that we were wealthy, but not in a material sense. God has blessed us with the riches of eternity; with five souls that will last forever.

The dishes will burn up with everything else temporary in this world.

No matter who washed them.


1 Comment:

Fuschia said...

Apparently, I needed a good cry today! Thanks.