‘INUIT MOTHER AND CHILD’ watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen
We are all in some sort of waiting room. Some with anticipation and some with trepidation. It depends upon where you are waiting; grocery store, post office, assisted living facility or doctor’s office. The grocery store is a toe tapper, while you wish the person in front of you would hurry up and count her change, and return the unwanted can of beans. The post office could go both ways; did you get a bill or a check? The people in the assisted living place, are waiting for God, and it could also go both ways. The doctor’s waiting room is far and away the most interesting.
Our hospital is getting older and seems smaller, and the number of patients has increased; drawn by the advent of Silicon Valley technology. For lack of space, various disciplines have been combined in spaces far to small to contain them. While waiting for my rheumatology doctor, I watched mothers and children waiting for pediatrics, There were also cardiology and oncology patients cooling their heels.
A beautiful young woman dressed with a jeweled head dress offered a seat which I gladly took. She was from India and her husband had come here to work for Google. She misses her parents and the fact that her daughter has never met them.
Two young fathers carrying their babies checked in and I remarked to myself that fathers never came to pediatricians appointments, let alone carrying their offspring. Another sign that times have changed. The day of the stay-at-home mom is over.
As refreshing as these fellow waiters were, a dark cloud arrived in the shape of a grumpy looking gentleman in his late 70’s dressed in baggy work pants and jacket, checked in with the young woman at the desk and obviously was disgruntled by having to give a co-pay. Mumbling all the way, he threw himself into the small chair with a scowl. He gave a challenging look toward the check in counter and groused: ” I pay enough as it is around here. Now you expect me to wait here?”
I was glad to go in to meet the cute young woman doctor who is always a pleasure. After chatting and acquainting her with any new problems, I told her about the current state of the waiting room, including a description of Mr. Grumpy. She laughed and said “I think he is my net patient.” I hope she was able to make his day a bit better.
“Mother Love” stoneware sculpture 3ft.tall by kayti sweetland rasmussen
What stronger bond is there than the love of a mother for her children? During my life of art, I have been privileged to paint or sculpt people, and some of the most rewarding have been mothers with their children. Wherever I have gone, I am always touched by the enveloping warmth of a mother’s love for her children.
As a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, I can share this singular state of being. Children are our legacy to the world. It’s our responsibility to make it a good legacy.
Who are “the January People”? My friend, 90 years old, has shown up at her gym daily for as long as I can remember. (Maybe that’s why she is 90 years old). She obviously has missed out on a lot of late parties, but you can’t argue with the results of a daily workout. According to her, the January People are the ones who begin showing up at the gym right after New Years, dressed in new colorful workout clothes made of spandex, and each clutching her blue yoga mat like a security blanket. They all sat down on New Years day during the football game, making their New Years resolutions, and a daily workout headed the list. They attack each exercise, eyes never leaving the instructor except to look and see what the other people were doing. They begin drifting off as the month begins to wane, until there are only a couple left by Feburary. These are the January People.
Years ago a group of us began jogging on a daily basis. We began with 2, and several others joined us at 5:30 in the morning. We ran for a couple of miles, working up a good sweat, went home and cooked breakfast for husbands and kids. Gradually, one by one, the group dwindled down to my friend and me.
Resolutions are like that. They look good on paper, but they are hard to keep. Most people by nature, are procrastinators. Dr. Advice in contrast, is the only person I know who believes in tackling a problem head on. I have learned for instance, not to mention a minor repair just as we sit down at the dinner table, because he will gladly leave a hot meal growing icicles while he makes the repair, the phone call, etc. He will leave a TV movie, no matter how interesting, to finish a job. It is a great quality, and one I wish I could share, but my nature is to take it easy, if it’s here today it will still be here tomorrow. I’ll admit, if the house were on fire I would grab my iPad (if I had one) and my dog and run like hell. My secret weapon is “I don’t make the resolution in the first place.”