It had been a really nice day. I slept in. We did church. Brunch. The kids each gave me cards and gifts and snuggles and gratitude.
We spent time outside, with family. And got home in time to put the boys to bed. Just the right mix of normal and special.
I couldn’t figure out dinner. So I opted for purchasing ice cream at the store. (Because Mother’s Day+cancer survival can lead to some choices that other people might seriously question.)
And then one child complained that he didn’t get a cone. And the other begged and whined for “the pink bowl.” And. I. Broke.
“Are you kidding me?” I asked in a very loud voice (ahem perhaps a yell). And then, I went on to unload my frustrations with some of the current attitude issues we’ve been dealing with as of late. The sometimes entitled behavior. The talking back. The fact that we seem to have to parent them everyday (yeah. It was all pretty rational). I sort of just opened the gates and let my emotions get the best of a small request for a pink bowl.
Then. Of course. After I paused. He requested the pink bowl again. And it reminded me that he. Is. 4. It also made me feel like smoke might start shooting out of my ears.
As I finished the ice cream scooping. And yelling. I looked at them. The Littlest in tears. The Middlest staring back at me as if I had Medusa-snakes waving from my head. And I walked away with tears streaming down my face.
I went in my closet and cried.
What is wrong with me? I wondered. They are just children. I reprimanded myself. I am the adult here! I thought as guilt pushed more tears onto my cheeks.
And then, the door pushed open and he walked in. He sat down next to me on my closet floor. He wrapped his blanket around me. And he laid his head on my chest. And I cried.
“Mom. What IS wrong? Why are you crying?”
“Because. I am the adult. And I don’t like… Especially after all the life that we’ve been through… I don’t like to lose it on you guys. I don’t like to yell. I don’t like to feel angry with you boys. Unless, of course, it feels like nothing else is getting through. Then I’m gonna yell. But this time, I just sorta erupted.”
“But mom. Don’t you always tell me that it’s okay to feel the way I feel?” He said, as serious as could be.
“Well. Yes. I do.”
“And you even say that sometimes I might just need to get angry. Just to push that out of the way,” he continued.
“Yes. Yes I do.”
“So I think it’s okay for you to yell and get mad sometimes even if we think you’re being crazy. I mean. It’s gotta be hard to always be a mom. Sometimes you get to just be like the rest of us.”
“Oh my goodness,” I just stared at him. “how are you so wise?!”
“From you and dad,” He replied, big-toothy grin on display. “I just know that you always tell us we can have our feelings, and sometimes we just need to walk away and have them in our room. That’s basically what you did except you went in your closet which is kinda weird… but I don’t get why you feel so bad about it.”
“I suppose you are right, kid. I just don’t want to tell you you’re all ungrateful when me getting mad at the end of such a lovely day is sort of ungrateful, too.”
“Mom. You knowYOU always say we’re all learning, even you and dad? And that no one has ever been proven to be perfect.”
“I do say that. You are right.”
“Indeed you do. Well. How would we ever know that is true if you didn’t ever get mad? Plus. The other two do whine and complain a lot.”
“Well that makes me laugh,” I told him.
He stayed and snuggled for a moment. He told me he loved me so much. And that I am the best mom ever.
My kids are not my friends. I know that. And they know that. They are my people that I am supposed to teach about life so that they can do life, too. And as parents, we take that on while trying to do life, as well. So sometimes, we are gonna just unload our exhaustion. Our frustration. Our wondering if they will ever hear us. Even on a perfectly normal lovely day simply because the someone cries over not getting a cone with his ice cream. That he is getting for dinner. And another screams at you because he wants the freakin pink bowl.
And that. Welp. That is just motherhood for me.
It had been a really nice day. I slept in. We did church. Brunch. The kids each gave me cards and gifts and snuggles and gratitude. We spent time outside, with family. And got home in time to put the boys to bed. Just the right mix of normal and special.
And then the ice cream straw broke the Mama camel’s back.
It was in that moment, on the closet floor, on Mother’s Day, I was reminded of all that happens in a mother’s day. The good, the bad, the rainbows, the shit, and my nine-year-old feeding me my own parenting advice. Just another simple reminder through another normal-ish moment in this mama’s day, that I don’t ever want to forget.