It’s always good to reflect on things past when looking towards something new. And in laymen’s terms, I am so freaking glad summer is almost here. We are so done with school, it hurts. And it’s been a good year! I will walk away from this year with happy thoughts. There are always challenges, but nothing that made me question my decisions in life or my ability to understand my kids’ deeper needs. And so I began to feel very confident in myself yesterday afternoon.
I went about my afternoon activities with a strong air about me. My 5 year old’s friend came over. They were fighting a bit, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I said something to them like, “Listen guys, if you can’t get along, you’re both going home… yes, you’ll stay here, son. And you’ll have to play another day when you are can get along better.” I said it with such confidence, both young boys looked at me without question–and quickly forgot why they were asking me for a referee’s call on the ownership rights of the car racing about the track nearby. I felt great. And I walked back to the kitchen. My 8 year old was across the hall from the 5 year olds, cranking through his homework in his room.
Then fan, here’s the shit. Catch me.
The five year olds found another game to play. Apparently, it was less gratifying to play cars when they couldn’t fight. And without actually seeing the new game, I surmised it had something to do with falling from the top bunk bed onto the bottom bunk with eyes closed. I surmised because I heard, “No, close your eyes and jump!” (I know, I have great instincts.) What the schmuck!?
And I think to myself, ‘Listen guys, I’d really rather you go back to fighting over the cars. Look, I’m putting my referee shirt back on! Let’s go! Fire away! Whine and cry and I’ll try to work through the ingratitudes. Just don’t jump from anywhere with your eyes closed, please!’
Then before I could get the little ones to sign the contract, agreeing to go back to the old game, my older son walks out of his room, immediately concerned that the 5 year olds would take over his castle of a room at the front of the house… so he locked the door… behind him… while he was outside. And because I couldn’t possibly work up any real emotion except disbelief, he felt he must conjure all other feelings that might be felt. So he yelled and watched me. Nothing. He started to appear as if he would cry, and I still just looked at him… “What do you want me to say, son? Did ya really think anyone was gonna take your homework?”
“Well, moooommmm! What if they ran into my room?! Now I’m locked out, and I can’t get back in!!!”
“Go get the skeleton key, but I’m going to warn you. I am no match for the skeleton key.”
“But how will I do my Hooommeewooorrrkk!” Yes, I’m sure you’re devastated.
“Why don’t you try it first, and then we can yell and scream.”
Nope, neither he nor I could open the door. I don’t know why, but it may as well have been a labyrinth. I couldn’t crack the damn thing. Put snakes under me. Still couldn’t do it.
“You’ll have to wait until your dad gets home. He can work the skeleton key”
“But what will I do until he gets here?!!!”
“I don’t know. Play. I don’t care. Just don’t jump off the top bunk with your eyes closed. That’s just stupid. “
And so my son continued to whine. My younger son and his friend, befuddled by my rules not to train to be kamikazes from the bunk beds, started to fight. I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror across the hall. How had that shit found the fan so easily? Wasn’t it just ten minutes ago I was awesome mom, ready to get the kitchen cleaned and a beautiful dinner on the table, whilst my children sped gleefully through a well-oiled afternoon?
And now, I am transformed into don’t give a shit mom. Eat your homework when ya get into your locked room, son. I don’t care. Eat the door to get to your homework for all I care. Jump off the top bunk and bounce off the windows. But leave me alone. I’m gonna go clean the fan.
Which brings me back to summer. It just might blow.