I’m not myself tonight.
But I guess, I’m really only myself.
So, you know Leo’s out of town. And I haven’t told you, but Simeon has been really strange lately.
Like when he’s good, he’s good. Super duper good. Kind, thoughtful, loving, tender, generous kind of good.
And when he’s bad, he’s bad. Awful, hateful, screaming, kicking, silent treatment, won’t look you in the face kind of bad.
The goods out number the bads, but the bads are so big and hairy they feel like so much more than they are.
I’ve been really working hard on being a better me. On being more patient, on giving him room for his crazy. I’ve been working on keeping an even tone. Showing love when I want to claw his eyes out, talking and talking and talking when he won’t even acknowledge my presence. He’s got such a sophisticated way of showing displeasure, it’s astounding really.
I’ve been doing really well. Except today. It was such a long day. And I’m home alone. And I’m tired.
I was giving Claudius his medicine when Simeon pooped. I asked him to wait a moment so I could finish with Claudius. Simeon was happy and singing and fine. Until he wasn’t.
Then he wouldn’t talk. Or move so I could wipe him. I gave him lots and lots of time, and lots and lots of choices. Nothing.
When I picked him up to wipe him, he screamed and kicked and tried to stick his fingers in his bottom (ummm, ick!). He refused to stand up, he refused to talk.
So I lost it. I yelled, I screamed, I stomped around the room and threw his laundry at the basket with vehemence (you know, all the things I’m trying to teach him not to do). I picked him up and tried to make him stand, only he kept refusing and falling to the floor, so I left him sobbing in a heap on the floor while I got Claudius ready for bed.
Eventually, I went and asked him if I could hold him. He finally let me. We snuggled on the chair and I made him look me in the eye. I said that I was so very sorry I lost my temper. I apologized for being angry and hurting his feelings. I apologized for yelling at him and for doing all the things I know I shouldn’t do. I apologized for disobeying my own rules. He giggled and snuggled and all seemed well with him. Which is good.
Except now all I can think is what if it isn’t? What if I just broke him a little bit? What if I did the one thing he wanted me to do, which was to treat him badly? What if the way I treated him tonight is the way he thinks he deserves to be treated? That would make me a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mom.
I love this boy so much. So much I feel it in my bones. It pulls at my marrow, it pulses through me and seeps out of my pores. I love this boy so deeply, so passionately, so, so, so… much. I hope he knows it. I pray that he feels it. I hope that my love over shadows my rage. I pray that it rushes through him and shushes all the angry words. I pray that my bads aren’t so big and hairy and hard to forget. That my goods are really good and helpful and kind and healing.
No one really says it. No one is really honest about the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. But I know I’m not alone. It simply cannot be. I know others get angry and do and say things they regret and question and pray. No one really says it, but this parenting gig is hard, indeed.