A favorite wall plaque of mine reads, “I love you more today than yesterday. Yesterday you were really a jerk.”
That said, I love my children to pieces.
When I’m not exasperated with them. Then, its harder to remember I love them, even though I still do.
This morning all was going well…the kids were dressed for school, they’d eaten their breakfast, and had backpacks ready to go. So I declared that we could watch some more of the Movie “How To Train Your Dragon” that we had started the night before, until it was time to go to the street to catch the school bus.
The kids were immediately transfixed at the TV. And as their responsible, trustworthy, authoritative-type adult-like figure…. I got sucked into the movie too. Toothless the Dragon is one of my heroes. He and Po, the Dragon warrior.
I don’t know what made me glance at the clock, but it was time to go. Like, now. I cried, “Aaack!”. (My kids know an ‘Aaaack’ is never a good thing.) Gwen was up like a shot, had her coat on and was out the door in a flash. I had to call her back because she’d forgotten her lunch, but essentially, she was good to go.
Garrick. ***sigh*** Garrick not so much. He had not put his socks on, and I had not noticed it since he was sitting on his feet. So I yelped, “Get your socks and shoes on! You’ve got to go now!”.
There are a thousand and one endearing qualities about Garrick. The painfully long time he takes to choose and put on socks is not one of them.
The longer he took, the more exasperated I became. The more exasperated I became, the shriller my voice rose, the more my voice rose, the slower he worked. It was not going well. I tried and tried to light a fire under him as the clocked ticked on. It got to the point where I was yelling that if he didn’t get his butt out there pronto, and missed the bus, I would personally deliver him to the principal’s office to report him tardy, and NO I didn’t care that his socks didn’t match!
He finally got out the door, looking forlorn and sad, obviously because I’d wounded him with my barking. He’d forgotten his lunch, I yelled to him as he was heading to the street that he’d have to buy lunch. (He HATES that.) His response was a muffled, “Ok! OK! Geesh!”.
And the bus was late.
The moment he was out the door, it hit me. That familiar wave of guilt that punches me in the gut whenever I have to play the heavy. THIS, this is the part of parenthood I hate with a vengeance. I rarely feel like a grown up myself most of the time, so it is hard to be resented for being one. Why did I have to resort to yelling? Why couldn’t I have checked for his socks before I started the movie? Why couldn’t he have remembered to put his socks on himself to begin with?
These were questions I clearly had no business asking before my first cup of coffee. But now that the morning is over, I can answer it firmly and confidently.
“It doesn’t matter why. Just try to do better tomorrow.”
There is no sense in beating ourselves up for making mistakes or being weak or not being what we think we ought to be. It’s a journey after all, not a destination.
Can so relate to this story! Hate hate hate it when I get frustrated with my son anytime, but especially in the morning and then I send him off to school. It starts my day off bad and I know it can’t help him.
Me too. HATE it when the morning starts off badly & I put my daughter on the bus angry. =( Then I’m sad/mad/remorseful for the entire rest of the day – ’till I see that bus coming back around the corner. Invariably, she hops off with a smile on her face, having completely forgotten the horrific morning. Wish I could be that forgetful – about THAT kind of stuff… (Now why did I come into this room again??)
We are all definitely peas in a pod. Some mornings are difficult since I have a daughter that loves to do anything and everything except get ready for school. She feed the birds, the gekko, and then talks to them for 10 or 15 minutes, sneaks Mom’s phone and looks at the latest YouTube videos, snuggles up with the dogs for a while, plays with her new art set from Christmas, browses through her Ripley’s Believe It Or Not book, etc. Gaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh . . . . . . . . . . . and then I lose my temper, yell, and as we all know, the day starts off badly. Today went off pretty well, so that’s something to look forward to for tomorrow.
Keep in mind their time line is VERY different than those of us that have “been there, done that”.
The reward, I assure you, is that every painful effort is like the backache you get planting a seed in the ground… and then we watch something beautiful grow. Keep it up !
I will repeat and remember those words, “It doesn’t matter why. Just do better tomorrow.”
So many things wrapped up in those two sentences. ❤