In a 1973 television series, Kojak, starring Telly Savalas, who had a shaved head, a big grin and the cute line; Who Loves Ya, Baby. This phrase came to mind as I thought about the story I want to tell here.
Today when I was a hop, skip and jump from my workplace, I realized I’d left my cell phone at home. The problem with that is my middle son’s need to keep in touch with me while I’m gone and he’s home alone. So I went up to the Service counter and told the 3 women there of my problem and asked to use the phone.
Three hours later I was still working when an announcement caught my attention. The three young women, still there behind the counter, were grateful to have located the right “mom” to come to the phone. I reassured my son, who was very pleased with himself, that he’d gotten ahold of me. But… how did he do it?
He doesn’t read. I hadn’t left him a clue. When I returned home I found my end of the dining table ransacked. There’s a calendar on the table with bits of paper stuck in the pages, and a stack of papers having to do with; our finances and bills, and Nathan’s care givers and their schedules and payroll that I compile twice a month. Somehow he’d found a receipt from where I was located, and punched in the phone number on the receipt, tried to explain that he wanted to talk to his mother, and then… ta da… there I was, on the other end of the phone line. (Did I mention he’s partly deaf and has garbled speech?)
In his determination to reach me, he also ransacked my bedroom closet. That’s where I hide his sodas, which I dole out sparingly, every so often as a reward for good behavior or a treat for staying alone.
There was a FB discussion a few days ago, among some friends of my youngest son, about I.Q. and something new being studied called R.Q., or the Rationality Quotient. I added my 4 cents to the discussion. Speaking of I.Q. I always think of the children I’ve worked with over the years; most born with disabilities, a few acquired them after birth. I remember a particularly intelligent young man born with Cerebral Palsy, which left his limbs twisted and almost useless, his speech beyond difficult to understand, and a fully functioning brain that would probably be ignored by most people he’d meet.
And I think of my Nato, who tests at far below “typical” intelligence, but who can use every bit of what he’s got to get where he wants to go. Like today. Today’s example of his “ableness” to find a perfectly workable solution to a problem, is not a singular event. He is able to problem-solve. I find him amazing and inspiring. And he both loves me and sometimes needs me, drives me crazy and makes me believe in the impossible. I love him, admire him, find him at times frustrating and childish. But the love is most important.
So… Who Loves Ya, Baby? Because most days, and most times, feeling loved or giving love is the best thing you can do for yourself and another.
*Card above, a 2009 Mother’s Day card with an Erma Bombeck quote. Don’t copy my art.