Every woman who makes sacrifices to raise children, her own or someone else’s, is a Wonder Woman. I am no different. I don’t claim to be a better mom than anyone else I know, but I do like to commiserate about it once in a while! Super Girls, on the other hand, are a rare exception; girls who take on challenges beyond their years or responsibility. My older daughter showed her Super Girl colors this weekend.
My son is a college student and it was time for him to return for his second semester. While he’d been on break, however, he was diagnosed with a medical condition that restricts him from lifting more than 10 pounds. 10 pounds is a lot less than you might imagine…a gallon of milk is ok, a bag of groceries is not. Picking up your backpack full of the books you need for class in a day, not ok. It is also not ok to carry your laundry down to the dorm basement and back up again.
The original plan was for my son to travel home and back to school via dedicated motor coach. He got home just fine, but he had to carry the über duffel bag (it’s about 6 by 4 by 2 feet!) with all of his dirty laundry and sundry stuff. Not a light load…this may have even contributed to his medical condition.
Being the ever efficient mother, I like the motor coach. I figure it is about a wash cost-wise to paying for gas to take two round trips up to his school. It is definitely a time-savings for me as I only have to spend about 30 minutes each way to get to the pick-up/drop-off location for the motor coach and it is a three hour round-trip drive otherwise. I also like to think that my son gains valuable growing-up skills by not being pampered too much by his mom.
So, it was a last-minute decision by me to mom-up and decide to drive my son back to school. I had told him to pack light and he’d be home soon anyway to consult with a surgeon, so he could bring home an empty suitcase later in the week and bring back a few more things…and maybe I’d send his sister up with the rest of his belongings in a week or two and she could visit the art school (she’s a high school senior and has applied to his school).
The deciding factor was an early morning conversation with my sister, who thinks nothing of driving her kids 17 hours one-way in a day for vacation. My little 3-hour roundtrip seemed paltry by comparison. I thought about my son, and realized how much he would benefit by my help. So, I called the motor coach company and let them know he wouldn’t be coming. Then I asked my girls if they wanted to go with us…my younger daughter declined and to my surprise, my older daughter said, “just let me get changed” and came along. Super Girl!
We walked into his room with valid trepidation…his Chinese roommate has minimal possessions. He doesn’t even loft his bed in the tiny room. My son, on the other hand lives worse than Pigpen. Super Girl threw on her cape and Wonder Woman cinched her bracelets around her wrists…then capes flying, bracelets flashing, the mess was soon commandeered. Five garbage bags and two full laundry bags later, things looked ok. Then, there was the individual-sized jug of milk that wasn’t empty and had exploded on top of the mini-fridge. Like kryptonite, it offended Super Girl, but had little effect neither on mortal man nor on Wonder Woman. The anti-bacterial wipes (albeit five of them) did the trick, but not before opening up the crust to reveal the horrid, spoiled-milk, kryptonite-acting, smell.
First to the incinerator, then down to the laundry to get the two loads in the washers (wow, wish I had a bunch of washers and could do all my laundry at once at home!). Then, on to the book store, where Wonder Woman’s super powers were helpless against the evils of pricey (used) text books. Super Girl bore the load and off we went for sustenance at the local pizza joint. Then, on to Target…the store of our dreams.
With rolling laundry baskets and sundry other necessities, we checked out and headed back to the dorm. We threw the clean clothes into the dryer and carried the books up to the dorm room. Looking around the room, there was so much more to do…unpack the suitcases, a bit more organizing, dusting and vacuuming…but at that point Wonder Woman and Super Girl needed to be getting home. The heavy lifting was done, and mortal man would have to take over the rest.
As we drove home, we lamented not spending more time with mortal man helping him…but really, we’d done what he could not do on his own and left him to deal with what every boy/man has to deal with. We’d done our jobs and it really was time to leave.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and find the balance between helping your children and helping them grow up.