Today has been one of those days. The kind of day where I both want to hug my children tight and run as far away from them as possible. The kind where I feel as if I am a huge, giant nerve, waggling in the breeze and when bumped, even ever so slightly, I recoil. And then pounce. It's days like these when I wonder why I was given the gift of children when their very existence (which sometimes includes tantrums, bellyaching and tears) sends me screaming to far corners of my house. (And, it's only the first day of spring break. God help me.)
Abby. Oh Abby. She is a hailstorm of volatility and emotion. I don't recognize her when the stark sassiness takes over her otherwise tranquil disposition. Her impudent body language wholeheartedly dismisses me. And I don't recognize myself when I respond to her edge. What starts as a slow simmer abruptly shifts to a coursing boil. Anger spews. I explode and lose my cool which, of course, renders me totally incapable of mothering or rational thought. Sigh.
Then Henry. He seems tired and carries a general sense of malaise these days. Today, in a flash of anger, he swiftly hit me while we were in a rainy parking lot. I simultaneously wanted to bawl and scream and hit him right back. Hubby witnessed the whole scene and spent five solid minutes spouting smoke from his ears...and punishing Henry. For 15 minutes following this exchange, Henry's lip quivered and he spontaneously broke into tears. My anger hangover lingered for hours. I'm still a bit melancholy...and heavy.
I realize that these days of challenge, introspection and doubt ultimately throttle me forward into a better sense of self and understanding. I will emerge a better mother. A stronger woman. But while I mire in the mishigas of my days, I wonder, somewhat impatiently, when my progression will take place. Will it be next Tuesday or 2015? Or, perhaps, was the shift imperceptible...and did it already occur? Why are these icky, ugly, soulful days necessary? Why does the journey include potholes and road rage?
Reflectively, I realize that my emotions serve as road signs, guiding me, nudging me on my path. They remind me of necessary recalibrations and resets. I pay attention and open myself to new directions--for me and my children.
(Two hours later...)
PS: While putting the very endearing Henry to bed tonight, he asked if "bidults" (adults) cry. I assured him that we, I, do. He said that he cried today. That he was sad. And that next time, he would make a choice to listen to me in the pawking lot. Then, I cried, overwhelmed with sweet, sweet heartache and love. While putting the once-again-tender-sweet-and-inquisitive Abby to bed, she kissed me 27 times and said, "I just love you so much." Ditto, baby. Ditto.