I feel like Santa.
I just got back from a quick trip to Chicago to help my sister out with her newborn twins and her two preschoolers.
It was great. I flew in (on Mom’s frequent flyer miles) a distant but loved family member. I left escorted by showers of accolades, praise and gratitude. And all I really did was show up.
It’s sweet: I come to town all fresh and relaxed, leaving my emotional baggage in Kansas. I don’t have to work or clean house or do chores. I set goals to anticipate needs, give special treats, offer support, and fill gaps. Then I go home the ray of sunshine.
I didn’t do that much. I didn’t make a dent in anyone’s life. But I did devote two solid days to doing whatever I could to make everybody’s life a little easier.
I watched Amy’s children so she could go out for a short time. I relieved Mom and Greg from their support duties for two days. I fed and changed and loved on my two adorable new nieces. I got Jack and Liv out for some fun at the playplace, and played with them at home. I fed Amy. A lot. I made turkey cookies with Jack and Liv, and peanut butter blossoms with Amy. I went out to dinner with Blondie and Kevin. I picked my brother’s brain regarding electrician stuff. I imposed on Dad for rides. I enjoyed sitting and talking with everyone – that was the best part.
But anyone could do that stuff. Not consistently, though. Two days is enough. I was worn out completely at the end of each day. I couldn’t have kept it up much longer.
It’s easy to swoop in, do what you think people need you to do, then swoop out again. It’s no big deal. Everybody thinks I’m so great and all, but it’s just not true. I just did what they do every single day of their lives, only in a very small space of time.
I have it easy. And I got the better end of the deal. I got to make my family happy. I got to show them how much I love them.
I’m the lucky one.