Sadie and her brother, Dan, moped alone in each of their rooms, patting those things into place that looked untidy. Both had been sentenced to their rooms until Mom said they could come out. Worst of all, they were missing out on their favorite activity with mom—making cookies together.
“Stop that squabbling, hitting and crying!” Mom had told them all morning. They didn’t.
Too much fun!
Finally, Mom’s patience disappeared with a summer dust devil. “Go to your rooms, clean them up, and,” she stopped for a breath, “Stay there until I say so!”
Sadie looked at her closet door. “Uh-oh. There’s stuff sticking out.” The school-aged girl’s idea had been to take all the messy stuff, jam it in the closet and yank the door shut. Now Sadie opened the door and gave the stuff another little push with her foot. No one’ll see it now.
The cookie making was going well. The treats were nearly ready to bake. But Mom was going it alone. From their rooms, the two siblings heard the beater going. They listened for the sound of the cellophane crinkling as she opened the chocolate chips. Their mouths watered as they heard the mixer begin again, stirring the sweet chips into the thick oatmeal batter.
“Mom, can we come out now? Our rooms are clean. You can come see.”
Instead, they heard a cry, “Help me! Help me!”
When Sadie and Dan rushed to the kitchen, they found their mother’s fingers of tangled in the beater blades. Tears were running down her face.
“Mom! Mom! What do I do?” Dan cried.
“Pull the plug!” Unlike today’s models, this old-fashioned type mixer had beaters that whirled in place while the bowl turned. Could it be an accident waiting to happen with fingers?
Still Mom’s tears fell into the cookie dough as she wiggled her fingers until they were free. No blood, though. The cookies were safe!
It had been a long, long time since either had seen their mother cry.
“Sorry, Mom!” Then Sadie offered, “We can lick the bowl for you. We won’t fight any more.”
“Yeah,” Dan, offered. “We know how to put the cookies on the sheet and in the oven. We’ll even wash the dishes.”
Still, Mom’s tears wet her face and she sobbed. It wasn’t just her throbbing fingers. It was everything. Too much to do. Few breaks from the kids. Not enough money. Not enough time. No help. Her Marine husband overseas.
“Does it hurt? Do you want me to kiss it and make it better?”
Funny how the small gestures of comfort to children are sometimes just what grown-ups need, too. Kissing to make it better.
A daily balancing act with responsibilities for any mom, fortified with the superwoman syndrome, makes it quite a battle both physically and emotionally.
Kids think that moms don’t cry. Children perceive their moms never get tired, hurt or feel like giving up.
Maybe moms don’t cry on the outside, but sometimes on the inside.
God sees and knows.
“The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” [Isaiah 40:28-31]
God does know how to renew energy, kiss and make one better and still leave the greatest pleasures—hope that in him as a guide, things will be okay. He always meets our needs. God may even leave a bowl to lick!
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. She lives in northeast Arizona with her husband, Ed. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]