In his book “The Five Love Languages,” Gary Chapman asserts that people generally fall into one of five categories regarding how they feel love most powerfully. They are Quality Time, Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. I am very definitely an Acts of Service gal–when someone does something for me, the swell of love I feel is almost overwhelming. Even small kindnesses make me go all gooey.
So imagine what it was like for me when a small army of people not only made it possible for me to leave my children and go to Australia and New Zealand, but did so willingly and cheerfully. My Neighbor Extraordinaire kept G in Boy Heaven at her house all ten days AND drove him to all his teeball games; my SIL Aunt Poodle not only took Dee the whole time, but drove to Boise to pick her up and drop her off; my parents travelled three hours each way to stay for three days to take care of kids; my in-laws drove Missy to Fruitland to a doctor appointment and also babysat; my pal Kim kept LouLou for several days and I think did all her shuttling back and forth; and my BFF Charlie, after helping me clean my house before I left, stayed several days and nights with Missy, Kiwi, and Madame Chaos as well as doing all the school driving. And, AND . . . . I came home to a meal she had prepared and left on the counter. But then I was summoned by my kids to my sewing/craft/spare bedroom where I found that she had not only IRONED, folded, and organized all my fabric, and sorted and reorganized my photo/scrapbooking stuff, but she had reupholstered three tattered folding chairs in three different but cute and coordinating fabrics. Then, she came over with a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake for my birthday! How do I possibly cope with such an outpouring from so many people, who not only merrily volunteered to be my surrogate for nearly two weeks, but went far beyond the basics for both me and my children? Maybe that sounds like a silly question (“oh, you poor thing, yes, how indeed can you cope with that?”), but, as I said, even little acts of service can overwhelm me in their communication of caring and pure feeling–such an avalanche as I have experienced will sustain me for a long, long time.
Coming soon . . . travel pics and reports from our days Down Under.