I recently took my mom to have a medical procedure done.
"What's your cell phone number?" she asked. (She has it, but it's programmed in her phone so she actually never dials it.) As I told her, I noticed she was putting me down as her emergency contact.
"How funny," I remarked. "All those years of you being my emergency contact, and now I'm yours."
"Thirtysomething" is that age where we find ourselves in an interesting place. Not only do we have children who we are responsible for and who we care - and worry - for, we also find ourselves worrying more about our parents.
Now, don't get me wrong. My parents are completely capable of taking care of themselves.
It's more about me. I find myself worrying more about them. If they tell me about an ache or pain, I encourage them to go to the doctor and I find myself lecturing them on how it could be something serious. When they travel, I find myself calling to make sure they got there safely.
Funny, isn't it? That's the same thing they've done all these years - for me.
As I went into the recovery room and my mom was sleeping, I kept checking the monitors. Just making sure she was okay. Same as she has done for me so many times.
Later that evening, my mom repeatedly thanked me for taking her to the doctor's office. So did my dad, who was out of town and couldn't take her himself.
I told her it was no problem, that I was happy to do it. In all honesty, I was honored to do it.
I mean, this is the woman who spent five nights a week in the hospital with me for seven weeks while I was on bedrest with the twins, just so I wouldn't be alone if the worst happened. I think the least I can do is take her to have a medical procedure done.
It's what parents do for their children every day.
And now, I'm learning, it's what children also do for their parents.