Taking Care of Each Other

by Alissa on December 13, 2010

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I am sitting here blubbering and dabbing my eyes with tissues.

The last few days have been really hard.  I went from fine to emergency surgery in 12 hours.  As a consequence of that I can’t pick up my son or clean the house.  As a consequence of that I have a fussy baby and a filthy house.  Levi, soldier that he is, works for us a lot which means Sol and I are home alone a lot.  Then Monday night I came down with the flu.  I vomited a lot and tore a lot of my stitches.  Then Solomon came down with flu and vomited a lot and tore my heartstrings with his helplessness.  All day yesterday I was in bed nauseous and dizzy.  Sol was crying most of the day.  Levi stayed home from work and tried to make sure neither of us wanted for anything.

Needless to say, you guys, I am near the end of my rope.  Physically exhausted.  Mentally drained.  Did I mention what a disaster my house is?

All of this is not why I am blubbering like a fool.  And by that I mean weeping incessantly with that burning “Don’t cry you idiot” feeling in my throat.

I posted all of my sorrows on my local Attachment Parenting message board because, well, I need someone to whine to.  And these women, most of whom I have never met, decided that it might help if they took turns bringing me meals, three times a week, for three weeks.  They realized that not worrying about feeding anyone (including myself) would be a huge weight off my shoulders.)

And THAT is why I am crying.  Partially because I am so touched by the kindness of these women.  I am very, very new to their group and they are rallying around me.  And I’m crying partially because the people I am close to are not doing this for us.  Most of my closest family and friends are 1,300 miles away.  And everyone else is busy, too busy, too wrapped up in their own issues, oblivious maybe.  My sister-in-law has been my saving grace: helping me go to the grocery store, inviting me over so she can help with Solomon and keep me company.

I guess it was just a real kick in the pants for me.  How many times have I known someone who has had surgery, lost a loved one, or had a baby?  And I rarely go out of my way for them.   I rarely bring a meal or offer to take the kids for an hour.  And here I am learning first hand that a meal or a “No, seriously, let me come run a load of laundry and hold the baby for an hour so you can sleep.” can be life-altering when you’re the one who needs taken care of.

How can we take better care of each other?  As parents?  As a community?  Does your community or family take care of each other?  Do you find it as hard to reach out for help as I do?   Take care of each other.  Such small efforts can reap such great rewards!

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Alissa (15 Posts)

Alissa writes at A New History where she blogs about the challenge of authentic living with her husband, Levi and her almost two year old son, Solomon.

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