“Mom … my button fell off at school today. I saved it.” Sister tells me as I’m dropping kids at their homes on Friday.
“No problem,” I reply. “I’ll fix it for you when we get home.”
“Can I try?” she asks.
In my mind, I sigh. Did I really just say that? “I’ll fix it for you”?!! What in the world? I guess I should introduce myself. Hi my name is Kay. I’m a recovering procrastinator, controller, grammar hacker … and enabler. Step one: admit your problem. Apparently, I just need to keep on admitting it and admitting it because I keep forgetting. I’m working on it.
“Of course you can,” I reply, grateful that she asked.
I can’t believe how I autopilot enable. Even if she didn’t already know how to sew, which she does thanks to a cross-stitching class, I should have been capitalizing on the opportunity to teach her about sewing on a button. I can attach a button even though Jon will actually ask Clara, who helps me once a week with Jack, to sew on his buttons if one falls off (…not sure how to take that). Granted I don’t own a sewing machine. I’ve never made curtains. But I can sew a button on a shirt, skirt, whatever.
When we get home, my thoughts quickly move from buttons to a bombardment of questions and requests. One kid takes me to the computer where I sit down.
“Mom! Mom! Mom!” peppers Jack. “Can I play Dora?”
The kid was so excited to be able to play a new game on the computer. The only time he gets to play them is at the Apple Store. Why I hadn’t gotten one for him years ago, I don’t know. But boy was he excited.
I sit down and move my arrow to the docking station. “Let me get it started for you.”
“I can do it myself!” was the reply.
Of course he can. What is up with me. I’m stepping in again.
I show the kid how to find the game. I don’t do it for him… just show him. Have I forgotten that the best way to learn something is by doing it? Have I forgotten the confidence shower that always follows a kid-completed task, washing in all the great lessons that accompany their doing something on their own? … even seemingly tedious, non-event tasks like sewing on a button or figuring out a game ALONE?!
While I’m getting out of the way, Sister comes up. Not only had she found the needle and thread in seconds flat, she had threaded the needle and sewed the button spot on in place – all while wearing the skirt. Not exactly how I would have done it, but her method worked.
“Do you know how to tie it off and cut cut the thread? Can I help you?” Hey… an enabling mother can still ask.
“Yeah … that would be great.”
She scooches over so I can squirm between her and Jack, to try tying off the thread.
“You know… you can take off your skirt,” I tell her.
“Oh,” she replied. “I hadn’t thought of that.”
Ahhh… they still need me :)
Thanks for walking the road with me.