How’s your day going? Are the demands exceeding the accomplishments? I know that reality, as do most of you—especially if you are a single mom. I’ve learned from experience how difficult that role is. Yes, we’d love to have a pat on our tired shoulders occasionally, but longing for praise takes energy away from the duties at hand. Besides, most folks don’t appreciate our challenges, anyway.
I saw that truth years ago when a relative and I drove to Kentucky to take my grandparents, Papa and Mama, and Aunt Adah back to Michigan for a visit. An eight-hour drive was ahead, so Mama had packed a lunch basket, topped with a bunch of bananas, and placed it beside her on the front seat. She put her cane against her leg, and settled in for the trip.
Road construction and numerous detours forced us to take alternate routes on narrow asphalt through the beautiful mountains. At another detour, we discovered a rock slide had covered the road.
As I marveled at the beautiful valley below, the relative let the car idle as he got out to survey the situation. Just as he climbed onto the rock pile, perhaps to see if he could get his Buick over it, the car stalled and began to roll backward.
I was in the back, wedged between Aunt Adah and Papa, but I threw myself over the seat, my foot knocking the lunch aside as I scrambled for the brakes.
When I got the car stopped, it already was several feet beyond the asphalt. Beyond that was a 500-foot drop into the ravine below.
With the car safely braked, I released my breath and tried to push my heart out of my throat and back into its proper position. Finally, I looked at Mama. Surely she had some praise for my quick action that had saved us from severe injury, if not death.
But she merely glanced at me as she picked up the scattered lunch. Then she muttered, “You smashed the bananas.”
So much for my need for appreciation. But I can’t fault my grandmother. Since she hadn’t recognized the danger, she couldn’t appreciate my effort. So remember this, single mother: You are accomplishing more than folks realize. And the end result is not smashed bananas.