How Do You Teach Gratitude And Hurrah For The Other Mother: 7-25-11

The Dining Table Deal: While we were blissfully removed from the angst of Wi-Fi and cable installation (not happening) enjoying a weekend by the sea, the other mother was nailing down the rest of the kitchen list and buying the living room television. Brava, Other Mother! And even better, she saw the dining table I liked at the furniture store and likes it too. So we are almost there. New sheets and towels were ordered online and this morning at 5 a.m., I finalized the purchase of a down comforter. Oops, just recalled, lamps. No light in the bedroom at all.

One Season At A Time: This time next week, the girls are moving in, without Wi-Fi but because of ABD requirements there will be a temporary landline from AT&T until the whole cable Wi-Fi phone system is installed. The residential coordinator went to the apartment on Friday to drop off the safety requirement items (the fire extinguishers, etcetera) and a staff desk and loved the red couch. And so did the Other Mother! When I spoke last night to the OM (other mother) I realized, jeepers, we have to pack. Clothes and shoes and endless hygiene items, one season at a time. Proximity lessens panic. Unlike driving four miles northeast for boarding school, a car loaded with at least two seasons of everything needed, this move is twenty minutes away. Taking it in stages, we are, one season at a time.

Gratitude Is A Concept: Our grown-up niece and her husband hosted a wonderful family weekend and sent our daughter a most loving email thanking her for coming to their party, praising her for her humor, and such unambiguous phrases as “we adore you” and “are so impressed with you.” Wow! Now, I would be filled with gratitude for the outpouring of love embodied in that note and have rushed to the phone, the computer, whatever. However, our daughter just sent an email saying, “You’re Welcome.” That is part of what they adore about her. She can only be who she is, at all times.

My Shtick: But her mother needed more. I needed her to understand what was given, so much more than a thank you. The earnest intent, the generosity, the kindness. Of course, this was my shtick because I am so grateful for the love and devotion our daughter has received from our families all these years. She doesn’t know that nor does she need to feel “so grateful.” I am imposing that upon her. However, I did say to her that she needed to express more than “You’re welcome.” And whatever I said, and truly I don’t recall now what I did say, she sent a second email with the words, “Thank you for being so good to me.”

Thank You For Being So Good To Me.

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011

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