Serve Magazine from Concordia Plan Services Winter 2017 - Page 19

Real Life
BY Dawn Crosno

Let Mom Be Mom

From the time we ’ re born , we ’ re learning and adapting . Our parents are teaching us how to do things so that we can someday do them ourselves . We learn to scoot , to crawl , to walk , to explore and to satisfy our curiosities . We learn to drink and feed ourselves and to subsequently wear spaghetti in our hair , in our ears and everywhere else , creatively finger-painting with the sauce on everything within arm ’ s reach . We learn to talk and affirmatively state out loud , “ I can do it myself !” Even if a word is missing , parents understand . And so it begins : the road to independence .

Dawn ( left ) with her mom , Janet Bast . tried to make me feel comfortable and kept me company .
I ’ ll admit that I had a hard time wrangling in my inner three-year-old because I was frustrated . Mom respected my efforts . She let me get as far as I could before she offered assistance . She was supporting my independence at whatever level it was on a given day .
My mom has always been there for me , with me . She demonstrates by example what it means to be a strong , capable woman — to be independent .
We grow up , have families and become the caretakers for new little lives . We want to teach them , celebrate milestones , rejoice in accomplishments and most importantly — stand ready to help them . That instinct and desire to help our children never leaves us . Why then do we think it should leave our parents ?
This revelation came to me last year when I had surgery on my shoulder . While I ’ m certain far worse procedures and treatments exist , this one was a horrible experience for me . I ’ ll spare the details , save this one : It was a slap in the face of independence . Everyday activities , like washing my hair , opening up a bottle , or buttoning jeans , were next to impossible . My plan was to miss just one week of work , but I missed two weeks because I needed to take the pain medicine and muscle relaxers to get through the days and nights .
My husband ( who ’ s to be commended for suffering through my grouchiness during recovery ) stayed home to help for a couple of days . I am also blessed and thankful that my mom was able to help . Better stated , she was not just able to help , but genuinely wanted to help .
It took me a little while to get it — to realize that helping me was making her happy . That motherly caretaker role for her “ little girl ” was revived ! She helped me do many things and did for me those things I couldn ’ t . ( I wish I could ’ ve recorded my husband trying to put my hair in a ponytail and the resulting hairdo ! My mom came to the rescue .) She cooked , did laundry and helped me shower and get dressed . She drove me to physical therapy . She made sure I was taking my medication and using the medical equipment as directed . She
But independence is a double-edged sword . On the one hand , parents foster their children ’ s ability to go forth and conquer life . On the other hand , the children do go off and conquer , thereby needing parental assistance less and less and , quite unintentionally , making their parents feel less and less needed .
Being independent doesn ’ t necessarily mean you don ’ t need assistance . Just because you can do something on your own doesn ’ t mean you always should . By letting others assist you , you just might be bringing a little joy to their day , whether it be assistance from your mom or someone else .
Before my surgery , I hadn ’ t been attuned to the fact that moms need to be needed , no matter how old their children are . I never really thought about it until I was ready to go back to work . My mom was concerned about me driving with my arm still immobilized . To ease her mind , I drove her around my subdivision . When I was backing my car into the driveway , I heard a sniffle from my mom . She looked at me with a smile but also through tears as she said , “ OK , I guess you don ’ t need me anymore .” And that ’ s when it finally clicked .
It shouldn ’ t take a major event to help others in your life feel needed . If you ’ ve lost a parent , the reality of how much you need them is all too apparent . My dad passed away 16 years ago . I often find myself thinking about him , wondering what advice he would give or how he would ’ ve helped me and my children . The bottom line : Relax your definition of independence , joyfully accept help when offered by others and just let your mom be mom .
ConcordiaPlans . org | Serve 19
Real Life Let Mom Be Mom BY Dawn Crosno F rom the time we’re born, we’re learning and adapting. Our parents are teaching us how to do things so that we can someday do them ourselves. We learn to scoot, to crawl, to walk, to explore and to satisfy our curiosities. We learn to drink and feed ourselves and to subsequently wear spaghetti in our hair, in our ears and everywhere else, creatively finger-painting with the sauce on everything within arm’s reach. We learn to talk and affirmatively state out loud, “I can do it myself!” Even if a word is missing, parents understand. And so it begins: the road to independence. tried to make me feel comfortable and kept me company. I’ll admit that I had a hard time wrangling in my inner three-year-old because I was frustrated. Mom respected my efforts. She let me get as far as I could before she offered assistance. She was support- ing my independence at whatever level it was on a given day. Dawn (left) with her mom, Janet Bast. My mom has always been there for me, with me. She demonstrates by example what it means to be a strong, capable woman — to be independent. We grow up, have families and become the caretakers for new little lives. We want to teach them, celebrate milestones, rejoice in accomplishments and most importantly — stand ready to help them. That instinct and desire to help our children never leaves us. Why then do we think it should leave our parents? But independence is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, parents foster their children’s ability to go forth and conquer life. On the other hand, the children do go off and conquer, thereby needing parental assistance less and less and, quite unintentionally, making their parents feel less and less needed. This revelation came to me last year when I had surgery on my shoulder. While I’m certain far worse procedures and treat- ments exist, this one was a horrible experience for me. I’ll spare the details, save thi 2SBv26FRf6RbFWVЦFV6RWfW'F7FfFW2ƖRv6rג"VrW&GFR"'WGFrV2vW&RWBF76&Rגv2F֗72W7BRvVVbv&'WB֗76VBGvvVV0&V6W6RVVFVBFFRFRVF6RBW66R&VЦW'2FvWBF&VvFRF2BvG2&VrFWVFVBFW6( BV6W76&ǒVRF( BVV@767F6RW7B&V6W6RR6F6WFrW"vFW6( BVRv26VB'WGFrFW'2767BRRW7B֖vB&R'&vrƗGFRFFV"FvWFW"B&P767F6Rg&W""6VRV6RגW6&Bv( 2F&R6VFVBf"7VffW&rF&Vvגw&V6W72GW&r&V6fW'7FVBRFVf"6WRbF26&W76VBBFgVFBגЧv2&RFV&WGFW"7FFVB6Rv2BW7B&RFV'WBvVVVǒvFVBFVगBFRƗGFRvRFvWBB( BF&VƗRFBVrPv2rW"FBFW&ǒ6&WFW"&Rf"W ( ƗGFRv&( v2&WffVB6RVVBRFFw2@FBf"RF6RFw26VF( Bv66VN( fR&V6&FV@גW6&BG'rFWBג"FBFR&W7VBЦr&Fג6RFFR&W67VR6R6VBF@VG'BVVBR6vW"BvWBG&W76VB6RG&fPRF66FW&6RFR7W&Rv2FrגVFЦ6FBW6rFRVF6WVVB2F&V7FVB6P&Vf&Rג7W&vW'F( B&VVGGVVBFFRf7BFB0VVBF&RVVFVBGFW"rBFV"6G&V&RWfW &VǒFVvB&WBBVFv2&VGFv&6Fv&אv266W&VB&WBRG&frvFג&7F&ЦƗVBFV6RW"֖BG&fRW"&VBג7V&Ff6vVऒv2&6rג6"FFRG&fWvV&B6ffRg&א6RVBBRvF6֖R'WB6F&VvFV'206R6B( wVW72RF( BVVBR&R( BFN( 0vVBfǒ6Ɩ6VBगB6VF( BFR"WfVBFVFW'2W"ƖfRfVVVVFVBb^( fR7B&VBFR&VƗGbrV6PVVBFV2F&VBגFB76VBvbV'0vgFVfBח6VbF涖r&WBvFW&rv@Gf6RRvVBvfR"rRvVN( fRVVBRBא6G&VFR&GFƖS&VW"FVfFbFWVЦFV6RgVǒ66WBVvVffW&VB'FW'2BW7BW@W"&R66&F2&p6W'fR