Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Top 10 Tuesday - 10 reasons I appreciate my parents

For the past few weeks we, my husband, children and I, have been taking care of Grandma and Grandpa's house and responsibilities while they are on a dream vacation. During these weeks I have really come to appreciate all that my "retired" parents still do.

1. Mow the lawn - We have a gardner that comes and mows our lawn in the city. We rent the house we live in so the landlord wants to make sure it looks nice. Here at Grandma and Grandpas there is a lot more lawn and one old lawn mower. My husband is out there mowing it yet again. Twice a week in the summer is a lot! He isn't used to so much physical labor. No wonder my Dad is in such good shape.

2. Water everything - My Dad could install a sprinkler system but instead he chooses to water his lawn, garden and fruit trees with a hose and a sprinkler head. I can't seem to water the lawn enough to keep it green. He however keeps it looking good most of the time. I don't mind going out into the pasture to change the sprinklers out there. The early morning walk out there is refreshing. It is so quiet and cool. I love the way the cows look at me too as I hike out there in my pjs.

3. Laundry - My mom hangs her clothes out on the line to dry most of the year. Unless it is raining the clothes go out on the line. I have tried to keep this going while here. Usually I just use my dryer but since I am here I have been trying to do as they would do. With all the laundry we produce I am out there hanging clothes A LOT! How did my Mom do this when she had all 6 of us kids at home.

4. Party hostess - While my parents have been gone I have had 3 family birthday parties to host. These are always done at Grandma's house so why should it be any different. I got to cook almost the entire meal for 18 people, half of them being children. This is quite an undertaking. And I was TIRED after each one.

5. Baby sitter - My sister in law has enlisted the help of my Mom to watch some of her children while others have music lessons or club meetings. So on top of my 3 kids I have often had a number of extra kids here to watch and entertain. My kids all love their cousins so this isn't too hard and I am sure my Mom LOVES having her grand kids here all the time.

6. Weekly church Bulletin - This is one of my Mom jobs that she does for Church each week. I thought it would be easy. I do my wards monthly newsletter. But weekly is hard because it is weekly. Just when you get done with one you start getting information for the next. And when the information doesn't come when it needs to then you have to call people and get it. This is one unappreciated jobs in the church.

These are pale in comparison to the last.......

Let me introduce you to Julie. Julie is my sister. She has downs syndrome. She is 24 yrs old but has the mind of about a 3 or 4 year old. These last 4 all deal with her.

7. Keeping Julie Clean - Julie doesn't care if she stinks but the rest of us do. And to keep her from smelling you have to have her shower every day. She can shower by herself but if you want her to use soap then you have to go in and scrub her yourself. You also have to make sure she doesn't put the same dirty clothes on that she wore the day before.

8. Diligently watch food - Julie doesn't have that certain something that tells a person that they are full or not hungry so Julie is always looking for food. Bread has to be locked up and food in the fridge has to be watched. This isn't easy to do. Julie seems to spot the bread keys from a mile away. You can't leave them sitting anywhere or else she finds them and then gets her hands on a full loaf of bread.
So far she has gotten her hands on the keys a few times on my watch but the only food she has been able to sneak is a cup of yogurt from the fridge and a box of crackers which I found before she got to eat them. So far so good. Still have a week to go.

This is also a problem at church. The kitchen at the church always seems to have food in it, leftovers from some activity the week before. Julie doesn't stay in her class at church and will wander the halls. If I don't keep an eye on her then she makes her way to the church kitchen and feasts on a half gallon of Ice Cream (This happened the first Sunday we were here) or something else people have left.

9. Getting Julie to School - It isn't school exactly but a program for the handicapped (I don't think they like to use that term anymore but I don't know the PC term for it). Julie has be up, showered, dressed and have had breakfast before 8:00 a.m. This may not sound bad. A lot of moms have to get kids going to school earlier than this. But with Julie it is different. She will not be rushed. She works at her own pace. But so far we have only missed the bus once and that wasn't because she wasn't ready but because I wasn't watching for her bus and they left without her.

10. Back to the Future - Julie loves the Back to the Future movies. She watches them a lot! She gets all excited about anything that she reccognises from the films. We recently took her to a car show and a DeLorean was there. She knew that was the Doc and Marty car and got so excited. She also loves some Walkie talkies that Sophie got for her birthday. I guess Doc and Marty use these in the 2nd and 3rd films. She loves trains because they feature in the 3rd film (this 3rd film was also filmed right here in our home town).
These aren't my favorite films and now that I have children I appreciate them even less. There is a lot of foul language in it. Julie sometimes uses this language on me or the kids and that is not good. Mostly we just have to hear all about Doc and Marty all the time.

Julie isn't easy to take care of and for my Mom to have to do this everyday for who knows how long is amazing and overwhelming for her I am sure. I have all new appreciation for how much she has to do and the life that she leads. She never gets to truly be retired.

So Mom and Dad I am glad that you are having a great vacation and know that my small taste of your lives has been eye opening. I am glad to help and will do it again.


Andrea said...

Bless their hearts. That's an incredible schedule. I remember my mom went out there to watch Julie while they went somewhere years ago and she had mentioned that they work very hard! You're a good daughter.

my5wolfcubs said...

I'm so glad you've been able to bless your parents! They are busy and so are you!! :)