While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.
While my husband and I were finishing up our weekly financial meeting at Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant last night, some other folks came in and took the booth in front of us. It was a man of about fifty, a lady which I assume to be his wife, and their daughter. I was unable to determine her age, because she was shriveled up in a large jogging-stroller sort of thing. I would say she was at least in her older teens, possibly in her twenties.
I watched as the man tenderly patted her on the leg and said some affectionate things to her. Her hands were held very stiffly, somewhat like a claw, and her tongue stuck out of her mouth most of the time. Her eyes looked at him and there was a glimmer of appreciation there.
I tried not to stare, but when I saw the lady, I was surprised. Her features were exquisite and her bearing regal. Her beauty was striking, perhaps even irritatingly so. She was beautiful, and she knew it. Still, I was struck by the dichotomy which appeared in the family.
I noticed how the dear girl simply stared at her mother. You could almost see wonder in her eyes.
The family was served the traditional chips and salsa, and mom and dad began to eat. But she simply stared.
Or was she simply staring?
Her mouth began to work, and very slowly she raised her hand to her mouth, all the while staring at her beautiful mother.
Oh, I wish I could do that! She's beautiful. Does she like me? Mom, do you love me?
Mom got up, and walked away for a few minutes, eyes following her all the time.
What would it be like to just be able to get up and walk?
Mom, is there anything I can do to make you pleased with me?
When I left the restaurant, I walked out using my two good legs and went home to my healthy, happy, loving children. But I couldn't forget her longing stare.
What's it like to walk? Mom, can I just talk to you for a minute? I love you!
Tonight, I was too short with my children, impatient to get them to bed. Now as I'm writing, the tears fall. Did they go to bed staring at me, wishing they could please me? Did they feel that they wanted just a little more time with Mom?
Life is not about schedules, it's about people….
I think I'm going to go see if any of them are still awake.