Monday, February 9, 2009

Unspoken Forgiveness

Every weekday I awake with the same pangs of anxiety, which whisper softly to me "what are you going to do with the kids this morning, Judy? How is today going to go?" I don't like that voice and resent the stress it causes me. When I can't figure out an answer to the question, I typically climb the stairs to the kitchen, overwhelmed, which doesn't make for a good start in mommy-land. Mondays are generally the worst, when I'm coming off of the high of having a partner in parenting for two days- then shifting into a mode where I often feel lonely and isolated. Today was no different. I got Lily and Liam out the door and immediately began my "hurry up and get a plan" panic. Benjamin doesn't last very long without this plan, so I only have about ten or fifteen minutes at best to figure out our morning before he gets antsy and starts to spiral downward. I folded three loads of laundry in the living room while he watched looney tunes and Seth spun around in circles and played with his cars. Then I showered (hygiene, people, you gotta love it) and we headed out the door into the SUNSHINE- YES- YOU HEARD ME CORRECTLY- SUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNSHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE, and drove to IKEA, where I shopped for a couch cover to replace the one I have which just ripped in half on the side. And all the while, I was doing some super-duper parenting- conversing peacefully with Benjamin, even while he complained of boredom. Lunch was a beautiful scene of mother and sons, sharing bites of food and laughing. Then, just when I figured I'd won the mommy-lottery for the day, Benjamin slammed his car door into a late-model high-end Acura, giving it a nice big dent. Well, I'm proud to report, people, that I calmly apologized to the young woman for the boo-boo, gave her my insurance information, and fled the scene, with no yelling or animosity toward my six year-old whatsoever. Perhaps all of you, dear readers, would have found this reaction a knee-jerk instinct in your parenting lives, but I'm here to tell ya that a few weeks ago, I would have been hospitalized, perhaps in a straight jacket, after such an occurrence, and my son would surely have felt the magnitude of his mistake with a bitter mommy on the ride home. After a deep breath, I told myself that this little boy didn't need to be shamed for something we've all done at least once- and maybe even this year, and my unspoken forgiveness and understanding would do wonders for his life- and mine. So, we drove to kindergarten and I ushered him into his class with a hug and a kiss and a smile- no mention of the little accident and no harm done.

Days like this give me hope for the next- and optimism that one morning, soon, I will awake to the reality that life is good and we'll get by, somehow. I'm tired of sweatin' the small stuff- and its pretty much ALL small stuff.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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