Early this morning my grown daughter came into my bedroom, looking like something the cat dragged in. “Mommy!” she moaned. Mommy? I haven’t been called Mommy in 20 years. “I’m sick,” she said, laying her disheveled head on the foot of the bed.
Four days of headache, vomiting and fever. I told her she had a sinus infection and had to go to the doctor, but no, she had to work. Aha! But I was just addressed as Mommy and the privileges that go along with that title include “putting your foot down,” right?
“Get dressed,” I said, “We’re going to the doctor.” Sure there were lots of protests, but thirty minutes later we were on the way. Since she has grown up, she no longer thinks I can drive, so she stayed busy telling me how to do that, then shouted, “Stop! Look out for that puppy!” Sure enough a very young Beagle puppy, maybe only eight weeks old, was standing in the middle of the road looking confused. The car in front of us had stopped and we also pulled over.
My very sick daughter got out of the car, and stumbled along holding her head, to save the puppy. I shouted to the other motorist: “Can you help this puppy?” Just then we saw a man running frantically toward us and the puppy ran happily to him, obviously his owner, with its big Beagle ears flopping up and down.
” I love humans,” I thought, “Look how we all wanted to help to help the puppy.”
She did have a sinus infection and they gave her shots and a prescription. “Can I go to work?” she asked the doctor. “No, no you are going to be sleeping the rest of the day.” “But I can’t miss work!” The doctor smiled. “Yes, you can.” The doctor left and she kept fussing.
“Look, kid, you are always saying you have to take care of me, right? How can you do that if you aren’t healthy?” Hmm, that seemed to ease her mind. “I guess that’s true,” she said, “I need to get better so I can take care of you.”
I did not laugh; it is honorable to want to take care of your parents-even if they are perfectly able to take care of themselves, as I am. I didn’t laugh, though it was kind of funny that she didn’t see who was taking care of whom at the moment.
But then that’s never really the point, is it? We take care of each other.