I meant to write this post early last week, but then I got sick and didn't feel like doing any writing for a few days. I'm so relieved to be feeling better now and so I'm going to write it even if it is just a bit older than I'd intended.
Last weekend I had a unique opportunity to really step up to the plate and do something that seemed to be an overwhelming task at times but turned out to be rewarding in the end: I went to visit my niece and ended up taking care of my sister's sick family for three days.
The Sunday prior to my visit (two weeks ago today), I'd learned some news about my niece that was quite upsetting. I was already planning to visit for the weekend, but after hearing the news, a friend encouraged me to take the time to spend a few extra days if I could. I talked to my team leader and got clearance to take Thursday and Friday off. I was all prepared for it to be a difficult weekend, and it was but not for the reasons I expected it to be.
My niece was happy to see me, as were my sister and brother-in-law. Unfortunately, one of my nephews had turned up with swine flu the Monday before, and it ended up passing through the family. My brother-in-law got it on Thursday and my sister on Friday. Luckily, my niece didn't get it, but she did get some type of flu, which was scary considering her delicate condition.
It was inspiration that I went to my sister's house just at the right time and was available to help out. My sister said they couldn't have possibly made it without me. I cooked meals, washed the dishes, ran to the store for supplies and medicine and supervised the other non-sick children (my three nephews). Just like a mother.
Of course my sister is a mother to her core so she had difficulty completely relinquishing her responsibilities to me so she still did far more than she probably should have in her diseased state. But I tried to help as much as I could and if nothing else offered support, assistance and love. Just like a mother.
On Saturday while my sister was resting I made my second run to the store to pick up a few other supplies. I took my two nephews with me and as their bribery for coming (ick!) shopping with me, I introduced them to Baskin Robbins, which they thought was cool. It was a good opportunity for me to bond with them, one of my goals for the weekend. I hope they felt special and loved because I know this situation must be hard on them with all the attention focused on their sister. That night my other sister and I took her two kids and my three nephews out trick-0r-treating. It's been an awfully long time since I've gone, but it was fun. Here's a picture of the kids in their costumes. I took it with pride--just like a mother.
Shouldering so much responsibility was not always easy, and I felt the pressure at times. Luckily, I had good friends to support me the two times when I almost lost it. My brother also came up, and I was so happy to see him. I was grateful to have even a small taste of what motherhood will be like someday when I have the experience for myself.