Pictured above are my beautiful/handsome teens, Kaitlyn and Donovan. My children are very fortunate in that they grew up with the luxury of a maid tending on them hand and foot. For most of their lives, they didn’t have to lift a finger to wash dishes, prepare themselves a meal, or even clean their rooms. The maid also doubled as a chauffeur, driving them to their friends’ houses, parties, and other important social engagements. If you have not guessed it by now, the maid’s name is Mom (I should add, “slash” Ronnie, our babysitter).
You can just imagine my surprise when, shortly after my first chemo, I walked into the kitchen to find Kaitlyn emptying the dish washer. I tried to hide my amazement and carry on a conversation as if this was a normal part of our day. After all, I did not want to scare her away! Just as I was making peace in my mind with the concept of giving up my maid’s uniform to Kaitlyn, I spotted Donovan out of the corner of my eye taking a load of laundry upstairs. Up until that point, I could have sworn he did not know there was a laundry room in our house.
I suppose in a way, it is a perk to them that they are taking on responsibilities and learning new skills such as cooking and cleaning, which they will carry into their adult lives. For example, Kaitlyn can now prepare an awesome Thai pork stir fry, and Donovan has completely mastered the art of cooking chicken nuggets (flipping them at just the exact right moment!). It is definitely a perk for me to experience the proud feeling of having my teens step up to the challenge when I need them, and to hear others tell me how lucky I am to have such thoughtful children. Cancer is a family disease, and sometimes I need to be reminded that I am not the only one affected. Since my diagnosis many people have commented on how well I am coping with cancer. I think it is my children who really deserve the accolades.
Tip: A difficult part of having cancer is relinquishing the role of caregiver to your children. Allow them to take on this responsibility, and don’t forget to say thank you.