Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Shame on me...
So I took a little break; it was one of those intentional things that I didn't really know the reason for at the time. Then last week I was out for drinks with two writer friends who bullied me, oops, I mean lovingly encouraged me to discuss the sudden disappearance of the blog.
So here's what happened: Mother's Day. At the end of the day I wrote a horrible, ungrateful, and spiteful post that made me ashamed for being such a brat when I went back to edit it. Granted my family was a little, um, unprepared for the "Holiday," I can understand as well as anyone how a day that is very special to someone else can somehow creep up on you, but still. I can picture Elliot and the girls in the kitchen going, "Shit, it's Mother's Day. Did you get a card? Go make one real quick..." all the while I am upstairs pretending to sleep in. But it wasn't the lack of cards, flowers, or breakfast in bed that got to me, rather, the unbalance that Mother's Day creates in our household. The fact that I was not there to jump happily to every one's passing need threw my family off and it was like the blind leading the blind.
So instead of reacting positively and thinking to myself, "Awww, they need me, they are lost without me, they are really going to appreciate me after a day of doing everything themselves." Bratty, ungrateful princess that I was in desperate need of some perspective wrote a scathing, angry blog post entitled, "Damn you, Mother's Day" in which the opening sentence was, "Mother's Day is the biggest cluster fuck of the century." Ugggh, I am remorseful thinking about it now, but at the time it was therapeutic. So I was mad. And resentful. And tearful, so instead of going to the pool with my 4 greatest people, I chose to stay home, be spiteful, and capture my whole mood on paper, er cyberspace.
So when I cooled off and began to proofread the next day, I couldn't stand the words on the page. 'Who is this disgusting, selfish person?' I thought, because I always hoped I would write the blog and imagined someday the girls would read it. There was no way they could have read "Damn You Mother's Day" and not have hurt feelings. So I stopped writing. Period. Not even a journal entry. Because my Mother's Day manifesto freaked me out. I totally get writing to vent our frustrations, don't we all need an outlet like that? But it made me wonder if I actually harbored the kind of deep resentment that could be hurtful. Not to mention how typical it is that I should feel so under appreciated on Mother's Day; it was almost like how when you were in high school and your boyfriend didn't do enough for you on Valentine's day and then you had a big fit about it. Like that...but 20 years later when I should be a whole lot more mature.
So the Mother's Day tantrum happened, and I decided to take a break and change my attitude. No more bitchy blogs. Cheerful supportive parenting...well, sort of, most of the time. But I was still a little iffy on the fast approach of summer. 13 weeks of total togetherness were ahead of me and it was making me sweat. Until something happened that literally took my breath away. I lost CeCe at Wal Mart. Now if you are a Mother and this has never happened to you, thank your lucky stars. If it has, well, you know this kind of terror.
All 3 girls and I were wandering through the aisles, and I was looking for some kitchen something-or-other and I turned around and she was gone. Sure she was on the next aisle I called, then the next, and the next until I abandoned my cart, my purse, and was running through the store calling her. Finally I stopped a sales person who asked me to describe what she was wearing and I could barely contain my emotions as we searched. It took probably 10 minutes, though it seemed like 50 times that long until I spotted her wandering; when she saw me we both came unraveled and I don't think I let go of her sweaty, chubby little hand for the rest of the day.
And so my sense of deep gratitude for the many gifts was renewed. But isn't it sad that it took something like that to make me figure it out? That said, I also realize that one can't help but be overwhelmed by the consistency required of parents. For every second of this child's life I knew where she was...playing in the backyard, at the pool with Elliot, down the street at the neighbor's house, with the babysitter of our choice. So for 9 years I have been keeping track of these girls...no wonder it's scary.
A few weeks ago I was downstairs and I saw something fall from the sky out the family room window at the same time I realized I didn't know where the twins were. I go upstairs to see what they are up to. Now I generally lay down a few simple rules in our house: No hitting, no name calling, no T.V. on school days, things of that nature. So when I send them off to play one would assume, "No going on the roof," would be a given. Well, a couple of lessons were learned that day: 1. I need to be more specific when I lay down the law, 2. Parenting is fraught with such intense obligation to care for our offspring that one must be on our toes at all times. I mean, geez, wouldn't you think I had covered my bases, did I really have to be say,"No going on the roof?" No wonder we parents are submerged in responsibilities, as there times when it feels that getting them through the day safely is a Herculean Task.
But we all know what happened to me last summer, feeling like parenting was an albatross, oh woe is me, this is so hard, blah blah blah...but this summer? I had the kick in the ass I needed to get me to turn around my attitude just as school was getting out. I had a little more patience for all of the things that normally would have undone me, like CeCe picking Amelia Bedelia as her story every night and asking the same questions about each double entendre like "Dust the furniture," or "Draw the drapes," were all about. Or the Karaoke machine that we thought was such a good idea...yes, I came at it with a higher level of tolerance and gratitude.
Now here we are a week into the beginning of school and I am actually a little remorseful about the end of summer...um, kind of...because there is nothing more annoying than the smug mother on the playground who acts all sad to see her children go to school. It's kind of like those who claim that their kids never fight, or that they only buy vegetables at the Farmer's Market, or that they don't watch T.V. I may be filled with a new sense of gratitude, but with it comes a renewed INability to bullshit. This summer may have been better, but September...I LOVE you.