“I’m being swallowed by a boa constrictor and I don’t like it very much.”

Thursday night, Dave(husband), my eighty-nine year old mother and I went to my three-year old granddaughter’s end of the year preschool program. The room was small with a few chairs positioned at one end and a circle for the 7 or 8 performers at the other end. We were the next to last to arrive.

We wanted to make sure Mom had a good view of the children. Her face lit up with wide eyes and a smile when she saw her great-granddaughter standing in the circle with her fellow classmates.  Getting the wheelchair into the room, positioning it so she could see and in a spot where people would not trip over the foot rest took a bit of patience and repositioning of chairs.  Sometimes, we feel very conspicuous when we would like to not be noticed, but most of the time people are very kind and helpful.

Mom waved her hand to the music.  She had a stroke five years ago and has aphasia, which is the loss of the ability to use words.  Her understanding of what is said seems to be right on.  Music moves her.  It was pure joy for me to watch her relating to the children through music.  And, of course, my granddaughter performed wonderfully.

Their teacher, Ms. Valerie, gave each of the students a tube of fabric with handles at one end.  They stepped inside the collapsed tube and started singing “I’ve Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor”.  The song teaches body parts as the tube is pulled up as each body part is “swallowed”, toes, knees and so on.  They sang “I’m being swallowed by a Boa Constrictor and I don’t like it very much!” after each verse until their head was covered.  They had a great time being swallowed.

As I care for Mom and grandchildren, there are times when I feel like I am being swallowed one body part at a time.  I think, I can’t breathe.  Then, I know it is time for some respite for me, so that I can continue to have a great time loving on my family.  My sister is coming tomorrow.  She will care for our mom for the next six weeks.  Mom is ready for a change, too.  I am very grateful for a sister who cares as much as I do.

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