Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Paper Girl

Last night for dinner I made split pea soup. The only thing better than a big pot of homemade soup is people to share it with. We invited over our adorable 83 year old neighbor. She has been so kind and welcoming to us since we moved in and we wanted to say thank you.

She writes me sweet notes when I vacuum the hallways, comes over to ask Chuck to open tricky bottles and jars for her. She brought us a potted plant as a housewarming gift, sent us a Valentine with chocolate hearts and a cute decorative box full of candles. She also delivers the newspaper to the people in the building who order it, because the paper boy doesn't have access to the building and they all sit on the front step. When she finishes reading hers she brings it over to us to read.

She gets all dressed up when she goes anywhere... even to the garbage. Her apartment in painted the lightest happiest shade of yellow and she collects ornamental keys and little ceramic boxes.

She doesn't drive but takes the bus around town. She doesn't have any kids or family that she sees very often, so a bowl of soup and an evening of conversation was the perfect way to tell her that we appreciate all she does.

Last night at dinner when we were thanking her for all of the kindness and generosity, she replied... "That's why the Lord put us here, to look after each other."

The interesting thing about this story is that yesterday I was having a hard time not feeling sorry for myself for a good portion of the afternoon. My carpal tunnel is so frustrating to me and seems overwhelming when I contemplate having it for another month and a half. Laying on the couch pouting, I thought the last thing I wanted was to entertain company... I had already told Chuck I was going to invite her over but laid there debating about whether or not to go and knock on her door.

I finally rolled my butt off and walked down the hallway. The rest of the evening seemed to fly by as I cleaned up the apartment and made the soup.

I don't know how many times I have learned this but I suppose I need lots of reminders, serving other people helps my "problems" seem really insignificant...

That was actually advice I got from another new mommy. She said that motherhood can be overwhelming when she thinks about the things she is missing out on.. like daily showers and sleep. But the cure she has found is to just focus on her baby and what he needs and then all that stuff seems to cause her much less distress.

It reminds me of a pure and simple truth that Jesus Christ taught...

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life for my sake and the gospel's the same shall save it."

I have much to learn... I am sure motherhood will be a crash course in patience and self-lessness.
With that said... I think I will serve my baby today by taking a long warm lavender bubble bath and then eating something really delicious. (Wow.. this service thing is easy:)


jeff and alli said...

Oh I think I want to 'serve' my baby like you are. :)

Your neighbor sounds so sweet.

And I agree, service does help deal with our own struggles.

The Atomic Mom said...

Ok, the whole not taking showers part of motherhood is something I have never understood. I have had a shower every day since James was born. Granted I shower at night when Joseph is home, but even then.....put baby in the crib and take care of yourself. It is important to focus on your baby, but at the same time, it's really easy to be swallowed up with the baby and lose yourself in a bad way. Don't let that happen, it's not a pretty place to be.

And you should post your pea soup recipe online. I'm always looking for a new soup.