It's Friday. Which means we've successfully completed our week and now we excitedly prepare for the weekend. And it also means that we are pretty tired, somewhat cranky, and we are irritable with each other because well, it's been a long five days. The morning was pretty stressful but I wanted to make it fun. I attempted to make a model solar system with my son, but most of our Play-Doh was dried out and he was frustrated. He wanted the exact colors that the planets actually are, but it's been like ten years since they've played with Play-Doh, so we were out of luck. My daughter threw lots of tantrums because she wanted to do things her way, and her way only. Like when she asked me to draw a sun, but I didn't draw it the way she wanted, so she huffed and puffed and yelled at me. I've been having to take lots of deep breaths while talking to her because my tendency is NOT to be a patient and quiet mom; it's quite the opposite--I can get loud and mean REAL quick.
It's not something I'm proud of, but this space is for truth, not fluff. And today you're getting truth.
I was doing pretty good in the daughter department and my son mentioned that the sun was shining. YES, it was! And the temps were already in the fifties. So the kids wanted to take their bikes to the park AND go to the playground... which is so fricken hard for me by myself. Because I have a guilt complex if we don't take our giant dogs, we always DO take our giant dogs. So it's me with two giant dogs, two tiny children, two hard-to-hold bikes with training wheels, and a busy street that needs to be crossed. Safely.
But I put a smile on my face and said, "Okay, let's do it." We all headed out the back door, locked doors and fences behind us, and got to the end of the sidewalk to cross. And then our indoor/outdoor grey cat Manny decided that he too wanted to follow us across said busy street. No way, Jose. He's not dying on my watch, and he never crosses the street [except the handful of times he HAS followed us to the park] and today I wasn't allowing it. So I spun back around, tripped over the dogs while turning, and yelled for the kids to stay put. I picked Manny up and tossed him in the back yard, hurried back to the sidewalk, and set out for attempt #2 of crossing the busy street.
Once there, I took a deep breathe and put my shoulders back. The sun felt so good on my face and the kids were laughing and talking. "Stay together!" I shouted. They're usually good about this, and they're usually good about turning around to check where I'm at. What mom wants her 3 or 4-year old to get halfway around the park without her? Not me. But today, for whatever reason, my son decided to forget all of our park rules and he took off, leaving his sister and I in the dust. He wasn't just going fast, it's like his legs got fifty times stronger over night and he was actually FLYING down the sidewalk, without us.
I yelled his name, a normal yell at first. And then I screamed his name. "PIERSON CLIVE!!!!!! STOP! PIERSON!" Reese stopped, and was super concerned because her brother wasn't listening or slowing down even the slightest bit. Of course I started sprinting with the dogs, and my daughter who straight up abandoned her bike in the middle of the sidewalk, and I seriously felt like I was NOT going to catch up with my son. And then he wiped out. He had turned slightly, and I watched as in slow motion he crashed to the left side of the bike. His shoe had came off and was stuck in the pedal, giant tears were streaming down his face and his sobs were echoing through the park. I was so angry, SO livid, that I had just screamed bloody murder for him to stop and wait, and he hadn't. But he also just wiped out, so how could I scold him? felt my blood boiling, my heart pounding through my chest, and tears welling in my own eyes.
How did this happen? How did we get here? This was going to be a GOOD morning, a happy trip to the park, and we were going to enjoy the sunshine together.
It was a long forty minute park trip, y'all. I told Pierson to sit on a giant rock and wait for the dogs, me, and Reese to go BACK and get her deserted bike, and I heard his loud cries as I ran. Reese was repeating how bad it was that Pierson didn't listen and how he was "bad, bad, bad, Mom, he was just BAD, he did not LISTEN." I tried to patiently explain to her as we ran that he wasn't bad, that he must have just forgotten and yes, she and he do need to stay WITH Mama wherever we are. When I got back to my boy, I squatted down to his level. Previously I had been very stern as I gripped his shoulders and told him that I was very unhappy with him and this situation. This time, I told him how frustrating it was that he did not listen, and how unsafe it was to just take off without a parent. "I was worried, Pierson, and then I got angry. Mama is still not happy, Buddy, but your sister wants to play at the playground. So can you please slow down and listen, and we can all try to have fun? And can you also forgive me for getting so mad?" He quietly said, 'Yes, Mom,' and I brushed the bits of rock off his hands. Together the two of them got on their bikes, rode right beside me, and the dogs happily trotted along.
So today I'm just reflecting, and I'm letting it all sink in that yes, it's been a very long week. And yes, I am in need of a LOT of grace.
Tuesday I took Reese to Broadway's Little Mermaid and that was also fricken hard. A 3-year old being quiet and still for that long of a show is well, kind of silly. We did make it through the whole show [by the grace of God] but even there, I had a short fuse, was super anxious, and didn't know how I'd make it back home in one piece. When I got home, (at 10:30 at night, only three hours past bedtime), Pierson hadn't wanted to go to bed without me. And all I had wanted was some quiet with my husband, pajamas, and the couch.
Last night I had a hair appointment and was so excited to get my hair done. Until she told me that I did indeed have grey hair [10% by her calculation] because I've been joking about it the past year. I don't know about you, but I guess I'm too vain for this to NOT be a big deal for me. I'm 29 next month, so what the CRAP? And when I got home, my son had wiped out playing with a toy and nailed his head on the bricks over our old fireplace. He was lying on my husband's lap, blood being maintained under pressure, and I had a flashback to when our daughter needed a trip to the ER and stitches.
See? Long week.
This is for all you moms and parents who may have also had a long week. For those of you who doubt your abilities, your strength, your calling. Staying home has been a blessing, and it's also been a huge challenge. And I learned a few things today:
-Don't take the dogs when your hands are so full. They will BE okay.
-Or, maybe tell the kids that we can walk, and we'll do bikes when Daddy gets home.
-Refresh the kids on mom's park rules and expectations before going, because clearly, sometimes they forget.
-And when the moment is over, hug your babies, wipe their faces, and tell them how much you absolutely love them. Because they also need to hear that reminder too.
Thank God that when we got home, we were able to make our lunches, tickle each other, and laugh hysterically with each other. I opened the windows, turned off the heat, and lit some candles. And now I think I'll go brew some coffee and spend some time with Jesus, because I need to hear His reminders and expectations TOO.
Happy Friday, Friends. You are good, you are worthy, and you are loved. Even and especially when you forget.