Over the weekend I had a night where I had the craziest dreams. One after another. I would wake up to pee, and remember my dream and think how bizarre.
The last dream I had that night was one with my mom and grandma. I was driving my grandma’s tank of a car, a light blue Chevy Caprice Classic if you want the visual in your head (1977 at that). I had to take it to get something fixed and when the guy drove it he moved the seat. The seat in that car in the front was one big seat that moved, so I knew when I got in I would have to fix it back to her liking, but it I was not sure I got it right, so I came and found her when I got back and she was doing the oddest types of cleaning and then she disappeared and I find my mom.
Now for the last few years of my mom’s life (I was 12-16) she was sick, so often the memories I have she is sick. When she appeared in this dream she was sick, but sitting up on her own (which was not possible in reality). She looked different (yet not well) and she told me she had been in the weight room, and something about her stomach. Which reminded me that I was pregnant and the ‘lil man started kicking me and I then said to my mom would you like to feel him kick? She put her hand on my belly, and that is when I woke up.
Obviously a vivid dream for me, and one that hit home, just the mere moment in seconds of feeling like my mom got to experience a moment with me and my son. And, then it was gone. I woke up with tears in my eyes, and of course had to get up and pee. I find it fascinating how these things happen when we least expect them. Maybe it was a sign or message for me. Even as I type this I have tears in my eyes. My mom has been gone for 21 years. Away from me longer than she was with me. What would it be like to share these last 2 months of my pregnancy with her?
I can be ornery. I like to do things a certain way, and I have a hard time apologizing. I am not sure how that happened in life, and how I became so stubborn. I actually think it is an artifact of growing up so fast. My mom became sick when I was 12. The next four years were filled with her. Taking care of her, cleaning our house, paying bills, using food stamps to buy groceries, finding my own way to/from school and other events, the list goes on. It was all up to my sister and me to figure out how to take care of my mom and figure out how to navigate our own lives. In my own way, I grew up so fast, and had to figure out things on my own, that I almost designed my own life very early on. Maybe they are/were coping mechanisms, but those critical years (when I should have been out playing and getting into trouble) I was just trying to keep shit together.
A recent Seth Godin blog titled: “Notes, not received” made me think about how maybe my childhood hardened me into not being the best at giving praise or approval. I rarely got it myself, so how would I learn to give it out to others? The third and last parts are what specifically stood out to me:
An expected apology rarely makes things better. But an expected apology that never arrives can make things worse.
An expected thank you note rarely satisfies. But an expected thank you that never arrives can make things worse.
On the other hand, the unexpected praise or apology, the one that comes out of the blue, can change everything.
It’s easier than ever to reach out and speak up. Sad, then, how rarely we do it when it’s not expected.
I still have so much to learn. I could definitely be better at work, at home, and with friends/family at unexpected apologies AND praise. We probably all can. We all probably have urges and then decide to not act on them. This is my reminder to try harder, let go more, and say what is on my mind. Hopefully it is a good reminder for you too.
Did you ever try to get out of doing your chores? I did. I used to hate to wash dishes. My sister, brother, and I used to have to wash the dishes after dinner. We alternated each night. One of us would wash, and another would dry. I hated doing both. I would do whatever I could to get out of doing the dishes. One thing I remember doing specifically, is stating that our Frankoma dishes were to heavy for me to wash and dry. It meant I had to wash the glasses, silverware, and pots & pans.
I also can remember having to clean up after our dogs. The worst part was what we called “pooper scooper.” We had this yellow plastic trowel with these slots in it. We took turns walking around the yard cleaning up after the dog. It was never fun. We had a big backyard, and somehow we would wait for ages to clean the yard, which meant it took forever to finish the job. Looking back I do not know how we ever got away with waiting so long to clean up after the dog. It would have been easier to do it more often, but we did not think like that back then!
The little things we do to get out of doing work. I do actually remember that those Frankoma dishes were heavy, the plates especially, but I wonder if my parents knew I was trying to get out of washing them. These days cleaning is actually therapeutic to me. Although I do not get overly excited to clean, I like the feeling of calm I have after the house is clean, the laundry is done, and the sheets are freshly put on the bed. Bliss. Why is it that having everything in my house in order means that I feel clear and ready to tackle the week ahead?
What chores did you try to get out of doing when you were a kid?