Minnesota Mamaleh: About the Homeless and Frozen Peas

My kids, clearly finding the upside to "Mama's Owie."

You know the adage about wearing clean underwear just in case?
Well, the same is true for putting away the laundry, washing the dishes and taking out the garbage.
I know because Monday I had an unfortunate kitchen disaster with the microwave, frozen peas and a breakable bowl. Let’s just say that the peas totally won. And I had to let a girlfriend’s eyes see my mess of a home.

Today as I sport snazzy purple bandages and rock IBUprofen by day and Percocet by night, I see that my priorities are waaaay out of whack.

Because when I burned my arm while making lunch for my kids, I wasn’t worried about the burn, my safety or my healing.
I was worried about three other, apparently more pressing, matters.
First, I didn’t want to ask another Mama to help with my kids because I didn’t want  to disrupt nap-time.
Second, my house was a mess.
And third, I didn’t know where the closest ER was.
And that was it. Thoughts of infection, scarring and care didn’t enter my mind.

When did that happen? When did I stop concerning myself with my own safety and my own well being? And when did I stop trusting that people want to help?

Somewhat disconcerting is that the nurse-line-nurse assumed the sincerity of my worry and kept repeating comforting, encouraging phrases like, “People want to help when things like this happen.” So it’s not just me that has crazy self talk like, “I can’t bother them. They don’t have the will-the desire-the want to help?”
I  knew better than that when I was a younger, more bleeding heart version of myself.
What happened to the eighteen year old me who handed out (my parents’) money just because someone asked? And the twenty year old me who volunteered? And the twenty two year old me that signed petitions and wrote letters? Because I whole-heartdely knew (K N E W) that that this world is good. And that the people that grace it are even more so…Good.

I couldn’t be more thankful, grateful and humbled by the FACT that that all of that up there is still TRUE.

I’m thankful for my friend Mary who dropped everything (including nap-time) to come watch my kids. I’m thankful that she employed the philosophy that it’s better to lie than to argue when I told her to just come over after nap-time ends.
I should mention that I’m also thankful that she has not once mentioned the laundry, dishes and garbage that she saw at my house.
I’m thankful for the friends that called, e-mailed, texted and commented on my facebook status words of encouragement, offers to help and jokes about status-updating before heading out to the ER.
I’m thankful for the ER nurses and doctors who couldn’t have been kinder, gentler and more patient even though it was an unusually busy day.
I’m thankful for school secretaries who carefully and meticulously made sure that Kayli knew that I wouldn’t be the one to pick her up without worrying her sweet heart.
And I’m thankful that although my kids were concerned about me, they took the whole situation in stride.


Lots and lots of upside.

While you may have not known about My War On Peas (Or Peas’ War on Me, I guess?), you’ve probably heard of Ted Williams, the homeless man with a golden voice. And you’ve probably heard of Doral Chenoweth, the reporter for the Columbus-Dispatch who filmed Ted after discovering his voice while giving him a dollar. And you’ve probably heard that the video clip went viral. And you’ve probably heard that Ted Williams has now fielded job offers. Plural.
Yes, he has a past. Yes, he has a story. Yes, he has a second chance.
And yes, this world is good.

What a wonderful way to start 2011: With a swift kick in the Tuchus, a few good stories to tell and a reminder of how amazingly worthy people are and to always look on the bright side of life. Thanks Mary. Thanks Friends. And thanks Monty Python. I needed that.