“My mom needs zucchini”

Lisa’s been sick for two weeks, feeling miserable, dragging through her workdays, wanting to spend time with Tommy, feeling blah . . . .

I jump at the chance to pick him up from day care, and Auntie Maria and I take him on our grocery shopping excursion. All is relatively calm until he spies a zucchini. “My mom needs this,” he announces. A mango is next, and then a loaf of bread. I balk at margarine, but he remembers the time he and Mommy were going to make cookies but had no butter.

We take the margarine and he spots instant oatmeal. Lisa’s quite the health nut and I’m pretty sure this isn’t something she “needs,” but I pick up a box with relatively pronounceable ingredients.  (Lisa later confirms my suspicions about the oatmeal, but she also confirms the margarine story.)

Oh oh! Tommy spies tables of snack foods. He’s indignant. “My mommy doesn’t need this,” he announces. “It’s unhealthy.” And with that he tosses one box, then another, to the centre of the offending pile. I suggest we not throw things, and lead him away. He treats the candy and chocolate bars with similar disdain, but foregoes any further product launches.

We arrive safely at the check-out, where Tommy takes charge of Mommy’s groceries. He packs the bags and carries them to the car. 

We pick up supper from Maria’s and head over to Tommy’s ailing Mom’s. She’s not about to make zucchini bread anytime soon, but is grateful for Tommy’s thoughtfulness and care.

The next day I take Tommy to gymnastics, and then we make pancakes with maple spiced apple topping. Auntie Anna chops the apples, and Tommy blends in the spices and maple syrup and stirs the apples in the frying pan. This recipe is quite the discovery!

Lisa manages to eat one slice of apple and praises Tommy for his “good helping.” (She says she can’t taste the apple.)

Later she goes OUTSIDE in the winter weather to watch Tommy play. I go to give her a break—and to reflect on how grateful I am that Lisa doesn’t settle for the minimum even when she’s feeling miserable.

Tommy is her treasure all the time.

I suddenly remember that I read years ago that those who love us when we’re at our worst don’t deserve us at our best. I have a different idea: those who truly love us do so at THEIR worst and at their best.

Didn’t Christ draw strength from His love for us during His deepest suffering?


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