Manic Mondays, Broken Bones & Paying It Forward

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Managed: Going with a Mom friend to take the kids to an indoor playground on what is usually a Manic Monday, but instead was a day off of school for President’s Day.

Manic: Discovering that your friend’s first-born daughter just broke her leg on a trampoline at a local place that is 15 minutes away.

Managed: Watching that friend spring into action calm, cool and collected.  And paying it forward by offering to take her younger child, while her Mom is whisked away into another world full of cat scans, doctors and crutches.

Yes, yesterday was a manic Monday and the quick turn of events reminds me how Moms stay calm, help each other out…and how it was my turn to pay it forward.

As soon as my friend’s phone rang, she knew something was wrong.  She didn’t have to tell me that either.  Moms just know and I knew by her expression.  I also knew that the news wasn’t good.

Her older daughter, who had left just 20 minutes earlier to attend a fun play date, was now 15 minutes away with a broken leg crying out for her Mama.  I told my fellow Mom buddy to go and that I would keep her younger daughter with us for the rest of the day and overnight too, if needed.

After she departed, I grabbed her younger daughter and my girl and told them the news.  I didn’t foresee that these two darling 3rd graders would immediately burst into tears with the news of an injured sister.  I was quite touched and quickly reassured them that big sis would be on crutches when they saw her again, but that she would be just fine.

So off we went to complete our manic Monday which consisted of rehearsals, voice lessons, a grocery store stop and dinner prep.

As my friend’s hospital wait grew longer with exams and CAT scans, I continued to wipe away the tears of a worried little sis, who would also, just as quickly, become happy again when she heard that she got to watch my daughter’s rehearsal and voice lesson.  Yes, being a manic managed mom is learning how to manage manic emotions that are quite normal for little girls.

Once home with the news that our friend had indeed broken her leg (and in two places!), it was decided that it would be best if little sis slept over here.

My own daughter, though worried about her friend’s sister, was tickled that a sleepover would take place on a school night!  Both girls ate a great dinner, got cleaned up for bed and made their injured sister, and friend, the sweetest homemade get well cards.  I was, again, very touched.

As the manic Monday came to a close, I was reminded how this day had been my turn to pay it forward with past events that had, ironically, been centered around broken bones.

Eleven years ago, I broke my own ankle.  I had a full-time job, traveling husband and a very busy 2-year-old.  My younger brother, who was 20 at the time and lived way across the country, rearranged his schedule to fly out West to help out his big sis.

He drove me to work every day for almost a month.   He also took special care of my little boy and was a joy to have around for those 30 days.  Though I was mad as heck about breaking my ankle, that broken ankle ended up being a priceless gift, as we lost my baby brother in an accident several years later.   I now thank God for that broken ankle and those annoying crutches.

In fact, there is a picture of me and my brother smiling with my big casted foot in the shot.  At the time, I didn’t like how I looked in that photo, but now it is my favorite picture of all.

Then last year when my son broke his wrist during our out-of-town Nationals hockey competition, our fellow hockey parents offered to take my daughter, as we whisked my son away to the CAT scans, casts and doctors.

So on this manic Monday with one extra child under our roof, I started thinking about her sister.  Her big sister was home in pain, beginning a long recovery with her family.  I was reminded how grateful I am to be able to pay it forward.  To help a family in need after my beloved late brother did it for me and like our awesome hockey parents did for my son…well…I felt humbled and grateful that we were able to take our turn and help out.

And it forces me to reflect on managing manic Mondays, recovering from broken bones and most of all, the gift of family and good friends who have helped me in the past.

May we all be given the opportunity to pay it forward, as it is a wonderful gift to not only receive, but to give, too.  My children also helped manage the manic Monday.  My daughter reassured her friend with hugs that her big sister would be OK.  And my son helped me unload groceries and get a homemade meal prepared for our worried guest.  And we all felt the warmth of community and good friends as we struggled through another manic Monday, broken bones and all.

And here’s to my friend’s beautiful and sweet daughter.  I am wishing her a healthy healing and comfortable recovery.  And to her Mama, take special care!  Take your vitamins because broken bones, surgery, crutches, pain meds and sleepless nights are hard on the Mama, too.