Last week I decided to schedule a road trip to see a dear friend who had moved. As it always has been, I can't just take off. I have others to consider. I am responsible for getting my son to and from school so naturally I checked his spring break schedule. I'd love to go sooner but winter travel is out of the question.
I e-mailed my friend and told her the dates of spring break and asked if I could visit. She loved the idea of me visiting but figured on having a houseful with her grandson visiting from college and her other children also planning to visit. I hadn't thought of that. I responded back with, "Boy don't I have only pebble on the beach syndrome?"
It's a phrase I grew up hearing. Mom would usually tell Paul he wasn't the only pebble on the beach, meaning she had other things to tend to. She still took care of both of our needs but on her schedule so if his favorite shirt was in the laundry and it wasn't laundry day, he was out of luck. (He could have hand washed the shirt and used the solar dryer but I don't think he ever did.)
I don't know if it was a control issue or just part of her independent armor. It suited her though. She lived life on her own terms as much as possible. So no, I wasn't the only pebble on the beach but I was a much loved pebble living in the shadow of independence and strength.