Bubbe in the Basement Syndrome
Strange title, I know; please read on.
I loved when my bubbe slept over. The house just felt different; better. Within seconds after delicately hobbling into our house and kissing the middle of my forehead a million times she made everything smell like chicken soup and brisket. Somehow she got the tangled vine that was my hair soft and flowing, and also somehow helped me find that place in my brain that naturally eliminated any mathematical knowledge. With her I was a NASA genius ready to orbit the earth and not the child whose dad had to come into school and discuss getting a potential forever math tutor. She was a tiny, strong, 4ft 10in Russian powerhouse! She could do anything, she did not need help, she was fine and I always needed a sweater; she said so!
Falling asleep with her was by far my favorite of moments. She let me place my drowsy noggin on her round belly and she told me story after story until my thoughts mixed with her stories and became the dreams I had during the night. With Bubbe the world made sense and everything would be okay.
One morning I woke up and she was not in bed. I ran downstairs assuming the bagels, cream cheese and apricot jam would be taking over the kitchen table. She was not there. I checked the back pantry, the backyard, knocked on bathroom doors. Nothing. I woke my dad up in a panic. We both searched and searched until finally I heard my dad say, “Mom, what are you doing down here?” I ran down to the basement steps where I saw my bubbe sitting up on the floor, hands in her lap, serene as can be. She had fallen down the stairs and hurt her hip. My dad asked her why in the world she didn’t yell for help. She did not want to bother us she said; we needed our sleep. Oh for goodness sakes!!
If you stuck around and reached this part of the story, thank you.
Maybe a long way around to get to my point, but when I had my babies I thought about this moment frequently. I knew that if my bubbe would have asked for help and woke us up we would never, not for one second, thought she was anything less than the role model of pure goodness and strength she had always been to us. If she would have asked for help she would have been in less pain much sooner and would have been back to cooking, brushing my knotty mane, quizzing me on my multiplication tables and crocheting a blanket for a giant in no time!
I wish I would have asked for more help when I had my babies. Why didn't I ask for more help? Maybe I thought it made me seem incapable, unfit, not ready. Maybe I thought people would judge my parenting. Maybe it is all of the above. My bubbe was one small person who made a village of possibilities come to life when she came into mine.
Let’s do this thing, together.