One of the fun things that Kathy does in her work with the Mentorship program for the women of our church, is to participate in skits. Trying to make the whole mentor/mentee relationship less scary, these dramatic sketches portray problematic mentors in a humorous light.
One of the characters is a wife and mother on-the-go, who is able to do everything and be everywhere. She schedules her meetings with her mentee to coincide with a child’s soccer game. “Bring your own chair so you can sit with me on the sidelines,” she tells the woman, that she plans to mentor. “I may have to step away for a few moments during the game — the coach really needs my advice.”
I may not have it exactly right (men are traditionally banned from these ‘Mentor Moments’, so I have never actually seen the skit) but that is the essence of the character, I think. Her name is Sue Permom.
Kathy has been away for the past week, helping to care for her Dad at the Mayo Clinic (who has been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma). Although my boss graciously allowed me to work from home this whole week, we were quickly ‘going under’ in terms of dishes and laundry, not to mention homeschooling. Kathy’s friends have been bombarding us with princely meals, but I still wasn’t able to keep on top of the household, so I took yesterday off from work.
At the end of the day, I was beat. I’d filled the dishwasher twice, and had done at least 438 loads of laundry (or maybe 439 — it is possible I lost count). I established my new draconian policy of throwing all clothes that came out of the dryer on the couch in the living room, with dire threats:
“If your clothes are still here in 12 hours, I’m sending them to the Goodwill!”
About 9 pm, just as I settled in to take a well-deserved rest, playing my computer game, little Sarah piped up:
“What about our Valentine’s Day box?”
I groaned. Each year, Valentine’s Day (or the Friday nearest that holiday) is a big deal at our local homeschool co-op. Each family decorates a box (some of them are pretty elaborate, the show-offs) and they make Valentines for each other, usually with a little piece of candy. I constructed a quick mental checklist:
- Valentine’s Box — nope
- Valentines — nope
- Candy — nope
“Quick,” I told Sarah. “Go get that shoebox on my windowsill, and cover it in paper from that roll of butcher paper in the garage. Then you can decorate it.”
“Granddad, will you be our Valentine?”
Sarah loves to decorate. After I helped her wrap the box and cut a slot in it (all the kids were concerned that the slot must be large enough to accommodate candy), she stenciled our name on it and decorated it with little pink hearts. Then I found a Valentine template in MS Word and printed out a customized valentine (squandering all of Kathy’s red printer ink). The kids formed a folding party and signed the valentines, some 50+ of them. In the morning, I went to the store and bought some candy, so that each valentine can be properly accompanied by a tasty treat.
As they were leaving for co-op, I ran downstairs.
“Stop, wait!” I shouted. “Did you remember the Valentine Box? The Valentines?”
No, they hadn’t remembered any of it. Typical of our family, I’m afraid. But as for me, at least for today, I am Sioux Perdad.