I’m Going to Exploit You….So Hard!

My brother, and my son

I was wrestling with my son the other day, which we do quite often. I had to tell him not to be so rough, as I’m not as young as I used to be, and he is quite tall now.

He doesn’t perceive me as ‘an older woman.’ He always responds, in my claims of “being too old,” “You’re not old!”

He showed me his fist and claimed, “watch it or you’ll never breast-feed again!” I cracked up and said, “I hope not! I’m 54 years old and you were the last one for me!”

It reminded me of the time I was on a flight home. I was sitting on the flight attendant jumpseat in the front of the plane. I was watching a woman at the window seat. She had a little toddler, barely able to walk and she was playing with her. Her husband, (I assumed) was interacting with the baby. The little girl was wobbly standing at the legs, and would hand them her toys. As the man would fumble to hold onto the small items. He seemed to be about 75 or 80. The woman seemed about late 60’s early 70’s.

I thought it was so sweet to watch the pride they had playing with her.  The woman was so affectionate. Every few minutes she was kissing or caressing the baby. I thought, they must be either taking their granddaughter to Florida on vacation, or they were returning her to her to her parents, after her visit to grandma and grandpa’s house.

As I watched them, the woman lifted the toddler to her lap. At which point she pulled open her wrap around dress, and began nursing the baby! I was in shock, as I looked around, to see if anyone else noticed this. It was the most bizarre scene I’ve ever encountered on a plane. Perhaps even off of a plane!

Yes, there were others who had noticed this very disturbing picture. I saw the eyes of the people directly across from them. When the flight attendant, which had been working up front finished her service, I began to share the story with her. “What??! Are you kidding me?”  It was clear that she had no idea about their story and she was also in shock. Then she added to the story, “Well, her husband is blind, you know.” “Oh my gosh!” I said, I noticed that he seemed to be overly involved in the tactile senses. He almost seemed to be discovering his world, as the toddler handed him, her toys. Now I understand, that part. But I’ve got to get the story from this woman.”

I waited and I finally had my chance; here she is standing in line to change the baby. And as all the airlines have designed it, the flight attendant jumpseat, is smack dab in front of the lav.

She finally was in front of me, and I commented, “You’re baby is so beautiful, How old is she?” “Oh, thank you,” she said. She’s 18 months. We’re taking her down to the Key’s on vacation.” ” As my mind started to click off the months of gestation, added to the age, I still couldn’t make this work, in my head. “Oh,” I said. “They’re so much fun when they’re this age. And so easy to travel with them. I remember when my daughter was her age. It seems they grown up so fast.

Then she asked, “Oh, how old is your daughter now?” “She’s 23,” I said. “Oh my goodness! You look too young to have a daughter that age!” She commented. Now, I froze. In my mouth were the words, but I couldn’t return this compliment. I already know that the woman had this baby at an age, most of us are entering retirement, and I still couldn’t believe this. Especially to see her nursing. I thought, perhaps she was a wet-nurse.

Now, she changed her baby and returned to her seat, only to return with her husband and baby. Now she had to guide him into the bathroom, and I could only wonder in amazement. “How strange is this life of hers? She must care for her baby, at the same time as her husband. And in a short time, the baby will be responsible for caring for her own parents.

Now, I was thinking of all of this, and I realized what a blessing it is that I have my son. Even though I thought I was pretty late in the game with him. I was 42, when I had him. And yes, he was planned. It’s just that he took his time coming to me. Now, he seems to be witty beyond his years. But had I been any older, I may not be able to enjoy all of his antics. Nor would I be able to participate in his constant energy-zapping,  activities.

As we were wrestling again, he said, “I’m going to exploit you so hard!” This spoken, right after I threatened to spank him. I laughed so hard, as it was clear he had no idea, what the word, exploit really meant. I was still laughing when, he must have realized that he used the word in the wrong context, and he asked, “What does that mean?” I realized now, that he must think it means to spank, or discipline someone.

I explained, “Well, it’s taking advantage of someone, for your own gain. Just like using someone like your uncles disabilities, to gain attention for someone,  with a selfish motive.I had reminded him, that this did actually happen to my brother, with many people, before he had come to live with us.

At this point, my son looked at him and said, “Kevin, I bet those people said, “I’m going to exploit you so hard, you can’t walk!” Then you probably said, “Ow, that hurt!”

Now I was laughing to the point of tears. He kept saying, “Kevin! I”m going to exploit you! Later, I was in the pool with him, and  he tried to act like he was going to spank me. “I’m going to exploit your butt!” He said. “Oh, believe me, I wanted to do that most of my life, but Kim Kardashian, beat me to it!” “What?” He still didn’t get it, and I sure wasn’t going to explain.

Then he noticed a small bruise on my arm. “What is that?” He asked. “Oh,” I said, “That’s from you. When you exploited me.” Now, I know, he has changed the meaning of an overused word, and I think his definition, is far more meaningful. So, I think I”m going to exploit him!

Learning to Trust His Voice

The Anointing of the Spirit

Well, as I had published my post this morning, I was waiting. Waiting on the Lord to see what He was doing. I certainly know it was His voice guiding me, as I went from place to place. I had a chance to see my friend and she also gave me a Christian book about ‘caregivers,’ which I desperately need at this time. He also tells us, “Forsake not the fellowship of one another, as the pagans do.” We are to come together, no matter how brief, to encourage each other, pray and grow in the knowledge of Him.

After seeing her, she spoke and told me that she did not think I should go to La Guardia to catch a flight which was open, but to stay in JFK, and go out on the one at 9:50. She felt sure that this was the right choice. I trusted that the Lord was speaking through her to me.

Sure enough, I did get on that flight. In fact, I was the very first person to be called for the jumpseat, and I was standing with another flight attendant from our airline. I told her, “I’m praying for both of us.”

At this point they called her too, and as we went to the back, a person from this particular airline came to the back to inform us that they had an open seat. This girl told me, “You take it. You’ve been here since last night.” That was very kind, and I was just glad to be on.

After going to my crew lounge, I saw another girl I knew from Lauderdale and she had just come up. “I had to buy a ticket!” She said. We left a bunch of people behind. I really felt bad. There were two people from our airline that would have had those seats, but two others walked up that were higher priority.”

Ok, now I felt a whole lot better about coming up the night before, no matter how much work it was. The Lord knew something which I did not. That today, I would have been bumped off the direct flights. I was wondering why all of this nonsense, but He showed me that He knows what He’s doing, and I do not. And this is where my trust comes in.

Yes, “we walk by faith and not by sight. If I used common sense, I would have left on a direct flight and never considered doing a double commute. But now I see, this would not have happened and He was divinely guiding me.

I thought back to a time many years ago when I was waiting standby for a flight and I had just started with my company, therefore I had very little seniority. I just sat and waited and my faith was very strong. As I watched person after person get on and all the standby’s getting very nervous, I knew that the Lord was going to take care of it.

Later, the agent called me and told me to wait at the door of the airplane. As I did, I was told by her, “Hurry up! Just get on! The pilot gave up his seat to sit in the cockpit, so go and sit in his seat.” “Where is it?” I asked. She said, “It’s in First Class.”

I ran in and sat down, when a few minutes later a flight attendant who happened to be sitting up there, looked at me and said, “Are you a born again Christian?” “Oh my gosh, yes!” I told her. “I knew it! When I saw all these things happening to get you on, I knew you were a believer and the Lord was doing this!”

Wow! That was incredible. I laughed and said, “You know, I believe that being a commuter, brings many people to faith! How can you not see the miracles of God?”

Her name was Marcia, and she’s since retired. However, I came to know her and her husband very well after that. We crossed paths many times, in ministry, since they belonged to the Christian Motorcycle Association. They would show up at many outreach ministries I was also a part of, and she would always share the story of our meeting.

Yes, God shows up in many ways, in the lives of the believer. We just have to be ready to accept His plans and “Lean not unto our own understanding, but in all our ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct our path.”

We can’t plan anything as perfectly as He does, so why even try? It takes the stress off of us, as we walk according to His voice.