This morning, I woke up early, eager for the day to begin. I was going to spend a little time with my North Jersey Regional Tea Party friends for the beginning of the Battle of Trenton. Then I was going to hop in my car and head to the Morristown Green for a little rallying fun with Morristown Tea Party friends.
Just as I was getting ready to leave, the phone rang; it was my Mom. No health emergency, thank goodness. But a water pipe had burst her in basement. My older brother is at work the whole weekend on an office move. My younger brother was struggling to bale out the basement and fix the pipe. Mom had a dental in Queens, a 45-minute ride. Would I be able to take her?
Oh no. The Tea Parties that I’d been looking forward to the whole, long, dreary week were about to make history without me. Of course, my duty, and I told I was ready to go whenever she was. I had to face it and do it: my brothers bear the brunt of chauffeuring Mom around and doing all the heavy-lifting. They’re both Mama’s Boys, so not only don’t they mind, but they insist upon it. However, it’s my duty to be available when they aren’t, which doesn’t happen often.
I don’t think God would have approved if I’d refused, or complained and made her feel guilty. Besides, I woke up this morning not feeling very well, as though I were coming down with a cold. If I’d made that long drive to Trenton and then stood out in this morning’s cold wind for Morristown, I would have deserved what happened to me for putting something above duty to family.
This is Mom, who saved me from the school bully, did without a lot of things herself when we were poor, made 999 miserable trips to Atlantic City, a place she loathed, so we’d have a roof over our heads, and nursed all when we were sick with everything from the chickenpox to the stomach flu.
Queens is a long ride from northern New Jersey. But Mom has been going to this dentist’s office since she was a young woman – some 66 years. The original dentist passed away about ten years ago; his son-in-law runs the practice now. He’s one of the most cheerful dentists you’d ever want to meet.
In any case, I most certainly missed the Morristown Tea Party. However, there is pay-off. Mom was so grateful that I drove her because my younger drives her begrudgingly, complaining all the way there and back again, and my older brother tends to pester her, whereas I drove her cheerfully and without complaint, that she doubled the amount of my birthday present next week. (Mom is very good with investments and we’re the beneficiaries of her financial savvy). It was only to be $100, which would have been more than enough. Now she’s going to give me enough to buy an Ipad.
It pays to do your duty cheerfully, I must say.