I got in a fight with my son. It was stupid. Here's the back story. I have been having really bad neck pain for a few days. It started on Shabbos. Between yesterday and today I drove something like 300 miles going back and forth to Greensburg, Pittsburgh and back the farm. So instead of doing anything good for myself, I just made it worse. No one's fault. I'm just trying to paint a picture here for you.
So I try working in the garden, moving my neck around, hoping good ole fashion, keeping moving might do the trick. It didn't. It soooo didn't. I come inside, give the kids popsicles (made from frozen orange juice concentrate, but don't tell them) and say, "Here you go. Please sit in the kitchen, eat these slowly, and don't bother me for 20 minutes while I lay on my hot water bottle."
For five minutes it works. It really works. The kids are QUIET! I can turn my head slightly without agonizing pain shooting through me! Hooray!
And then, well I'm sure you can guess. "Mom, Brother got out of his chair." "Mom, Sister is sitting too close to me." "Mom, his feet are almost TOUCHING me!" Until...
Waaaahhhhhhh Waaaaahhhhh Waaaaaahhhhhh
That's my daughter. She cries at the drop of a hat. And it's not a whimper. It is a screaming bloody murder, the worst thing in the world is happening right now scream. Seriously. I live in the country, where you don't exactly have next door neighbors, and my neighbor TWO doors down hears my daughter express herself to the fullest.
What was the crime this time? Who knows. You can't understand a word she says when she is doing her screaming, shouting, crying, gonna make everyone deaf thing. Brother tries to explain. But it becomes all about what she did wrong that provoked him. Uh huh.
Anyway, I basically tell him that he is the older child. Significantly so. And rather than retaliate, he should distance himself. Duh.
He gets upset because I'm OBVIOUSLY not getting how NOT at fault he is, and to prove it to me he throws his own mini fit by shouting at me and throwing my laundry around the room.
All this time I have been laying on my back on my hot water bottle. But I am so mad that I am going to have to bend down and pick all that stuff up that I shout something at him (I really don't know what, but I'm sure it's a disqualifier for Best Mom of the Year). And when he doesn't stop, I do some sort of grab push thing. (What was that about being the bigger person and distancing yourself?) And he ends up on the floor crying and angry.
I go outside, because I am not ready to apologize. Or if I am I will say something totally unapologetic like, 'I'm sorry I did that, I really shouldn't have... But YOU blah dee blah blahed.'
And of course he follows me out. So I say something about him setting the worst possible example for his siblings, and how every time he argues with me, or says 'no' to me, they no longer feel they need to listen to me... Oy. Not to put the pressure on my seven year old or anything. Just saying that if the other kids become f@#$ up drop outs (which would take some effort, as we're homeschooling) and end up selling compost on the streets, it'll be all his fault.
He stormed off and found his dad, who was doing man-dad things outside, like driving the tractor and using a trailer, and I pretended to cool off while I gave the two younger ones dinner.
Oh what was that about me taking care of my neck? Yeah, no one seemed to remember, least of all me.
So after dinner, (big boy ate with his dad, ten minutes after the rest of us) I'm checking my email or something equally unproductive and my son comes up to me and says, "Can I give you a hug?"
"Um, I guess."
"Why'd you say that? You ALWAYS say 'yes, of course!'"
"Oh. I guess it's because we were fighting."
"Oh." Said kind of surprised.
And I realized that he had let go. He was done with that fight. It was over. If not erased, than at least far enough behind that it shouldn't affect our displays of love now.
So why wasn't I over it? I'm the adult. I'm the mature, evolved one. I'm the one bearing the grudge and not moving on.
And I am embarrassed.
But you know what? I'm STILL pissed. Because after all this happened, the kids took my hot water bottle out of my room and did G-d knows what to it, and it has a huge leak now. So no relief tonight. Or any night in the near future.
It's such a fine line I am walking, when I am always encouraging my kids to share their things, but get mad when they take mine. But COME ON! Look at what they did! ARGH!!!
I don't think tonight will be a night of letting go, forgiveness or compassion.
Or maybe I can be a little compassionate on myself. I will allow myself to feel bad. Feel sad. Feel annoyed. And a little pissed.
And whatever I'm feeling, I will still give my son a BIG hug, an even BIGGER kiss (because he still lets me), and sing to him before bed.
Because right now, that's what being the ADULT means.
- Home safe and sound
- Staked the tomatoes
- Almost bedtime
- Almost bedtime
- Almost bedtime