A Spoonful of Care

A recent Facebook post by my friend Graham Godwin asked “Dear mythbusters……… does a teaspoon of sugar really help the medicine go down?????

His question brought back memories for me. Not about sugar, it’s true.

But I remember when I was very small and had to take a tablet, how my mother used to crush the offending, usually nasty-tasting thing and mix it with a teaspoonful of jam or honey for me.

I still remember the look of concentration on her face, as she crushed it between the bowl of one spoon and the back of another, without spilling even a small bit of the resulting white powder.

I also remember how she, as an ex-nurse, would use a spoon to depress my tongue and peer into my mouth when I complained of a sore throat.

Or how she’d use the back of a teaspoon to crack the top of a boiled egg for me. Soft-boiled eggs and dry toast were so often a first-meal remedy after I’d been ill.

I still remember my mother sitting on the edge of my bed as I ate, in the darkened room aftermath of measles, mumps or some other childish ailment.

‘Spoon-memories’ about spoonfuls of care.

And I also have some ‘spoon-memories’ of my father. Fun stuff …

Like how he taught my sister and me to rap out the rhythm of ‘shave-and-a-haircut, two bits’ on the kitchen table with a spoon. Or, when we were just a little bit older, the far more complex syncopated rhythm of “Cowboy Joe”. Much to my mother’s mock indignation. She told all three of us off for the noise, but was unable to hide her smile.

My dad also tried to teach us how to do that trick where you stick a spoon to your nose so it doesn’t fall off. Something I never quite managed to master. :)

He was having fun with his two girls – and by teaching us and making us laugh, he was also giving us ‘spoonfuls of care’.

These memories are decades old now. My parents were younger then than I am now – and my mother passed away at the age of 71, my father at 84.  But these childhood memories still warm my heart.

I wonder how often parents are aware of the little things like this that can make such difference in a child’s life – little things that will be remembered forever.

What ‘spoonfuls of care’  do you remember?

Even if they are nothing to do with actual spoons. :)

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