Writing Prompt: Tea and Sympathy

I’ve just returned from a weekend of camping in Perthshire.  The scenery was amazing. Low hanging clouds peppered the sky and as the wind blew them south, offered occasional glimpses of blue. My friend Arlene brought her two dogs and walking them provided me with a rare opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise amongst the trees in the forest behind Pitlochry. Her hyper-active border collie dragged me alongside a stream and by the time we reached the car, I was muddy and ready for a cup of tea.

Although I enjoyed my time in the great outdoors, even for a couple of days, the chilly wind, along with a hot, sweaty sleeping bag might have triggered a cold. I’m sat in front of the fireplace, the cat is at my feet, there is a knitted blanket around me and I’m feeling sorry for myself. My throat, which was working fine when I was yelling blue-murder after the dog when he got off the lead, is now letting me down. Although some might argue (my work colleagues in particular) that this is not necessarily a bad thing, the loss of my voice is annoying.

I suddenly want my mother. I think back to the times when I was ill and somehow, my mother always knew what to do to make me feel better. It’s funny how, no matter how old we get, our mothers know how to look after us. When I think back of all the times I was sick it was Mom I wanted. I got chicken pox when I was six, she entertained me and made me strawberry jell-o to take my mind off the scratching. When I was hospitalised for a week with pneumonia, (I lost ten pounds), she ran around telling the nurses how to do their job, she smuggled in cheese burgers and pushed away the rank and horrid hospital food I wouldn’t eat. When I had a close call with appendicitis, she was the first person I saw when I woke up after surgery.

I know I only have the beginnings of a cold right now. I know I’m a grown woman with a kettle and a medicine cabinet, but today, right now, I want Mom to put a cool cloth to my head, tuck me in and bring me strawberry jell-o.

Most of us have things we cling to when we’re feeling rotten. When we’re vulnerable, there are those things that make everything better. My brother likes to sit around watching old movies. One of my friends goes straight to a yoga class when she needs to unwind. Another friend goes into the kitchen and bakes whilst chatting to friends on the phone about what ails her. (we all benefit from the homemade brownies). What is it you turn to when you want a bit of TLC?

Writing Prompt: Tea and Sympathy

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