There are days when I think I would be a better parent if I didn't actually live with the children I was trying to parenting..............today was one of those days. I was tired. I was irritable. Every nerve was raw and exposed and the children were STANDING ON, POUNDING ON, JUMPING WITH FERVOR on each and every one. At one point when I was in the van and stopped at a red light with the two youngest, I put my head down on the steering wheel and took off in my mind. I thought of the nap I would take later..........like in twenty years, the book I was going to dive into tonight, the peace and quiet which would come again........and I drifted off...........and hit the stopped car in front of me. No joke. The bump of my car against his totally WOKE ME UP. I got out of the car as he was getting out of his and I started jabbering complete nonsense at this poor man, saying whatever random thought was popping in my brain, all the while hyperventilating, praying that no damage was done. No damage. He ended up being SO VERY NICE and he left by saying he hoped my day would improve and that I would have a good one. I love people like that. I seem to meet them a lot.........people filled with grace, people that end up wishing me well when I am the one who has messed up. (I went back to read my writing and edit anything and as I was reading this it suddenly occured to me that the way strangers treat me sometimes reminds me of how I would treat an escaped mental patient, a rapid dog........gently, kindly, slowly backing away and then getting the heck away.......maybe what I recognize as grace is really just panic in the face of insanity.......hhhmmmmm.....)
Anyway..............there are days like that.
Days when you wondering if you are capable of this parenting gig that God gave you, days when your eyes bug out and cause your children to mimic you or run in terror.
Days when you yell more than you soothe.
Days when you take the long way home because you can kill an extra five minutes.
Days when the library ladies forgive your fines and do magical things with their computers that make the 10 movies you left at home not count, let you check out extra ones and sort through the 100 items you bring to the library and find all your personal ones.........wrapping them neatly up with a little note that says Codispoti. They all get it, they've been there and never in 7 years have they batted an eye when I have come in without a shower, without my teeth being brushed, flustered beyond all belief. They make me feel beautiful and loved..........those library ladies of North Branch.
Days when your lunch consists of peanut butter scrapped from your child's plate and a bag of already popped popcorn from the pantry........because even just putting something in the microwave seems a bit too much to handle when the couch is beckoning, the children are silenced by the GREATEST INVENTION OF ALL TIME and you just got the new Ken Follett book out of the library.
Days, just days...............and I can have a day like today and know that it isn't the only day, it isn't worth getting my panties in a bunch over (and, at least, I have some panties on this day..........laundry was a little slow to get done last week and well, it wasn't one of my finer moments showing up to a prayer vigil without my underwear...........but I am sure that God heard my prayers all the same). The sun will come up tomorrow, the kids will rise up and sleepily reach out for breakfast, books and cuddling.........and I will be ready.
Because tomorrow is another day, another day to love and play and laugh and try again............luckily kids are much more forgiving than their parents. What we remember is different from what they remember. They will remember lunch outside, playing star wars with mommy, cuddling up with books, bacon (I think that is the first time I have purchased bacon in YEARS........Nico's eyes almost rolled back into his head :) and french toast for dinner with mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert that they got to go pick out at the store. They will remember daddy..........yes, that knight in shining armor............. coming home, playing and then making a fire so they could sit around and tell ghost stories before bed. That they will remember.
And so tonight I shut the door on today as I shut down this computer............to sleep, to rest, to recharge so that tomorrow we can try again..............and hopefully on that day I will have underwear on, I will not run into another person's bumper and I will not have a melt down at the library counter of North Branch library............I find it helpful to have standards...........HIGH STANDARDS to which I hold myself..........underwear, full control of my vehicle and no public meltdowns.........
Got my list for tomorrow...............have a lovely and relaxing evening :)