Anson had to go to San Francisco for three weeks for work and my sons all miss their pops terribly. It manifests in different ways. Sheppard and Smith are looking for him around the house, pointing to pictures of Anson and saying their “Dad” word. Roan is feeling it more acutely, and has been a little emotional about missing basically his favorite person on earth. But he’s been a trooper, helping me beyond what a seven-almost-eight-year-old boy should be expected to do. He’s vigilant about keeping his brothers safe, keeping them entertained, and teaching them all the things they need to know. But Roan has also noticed that I’m short on patience, that I get tired a little more easily, and that I expect him to step up his game a little. And that kid? He’s just done it. I don’t know how but somehow he’s really decided to be who I need him to be right now.
And me? Well, I’ve kind of blown it a few times. Big shock, I know. I feel like everything is manageable, and try to take time after the boys are all asleep to be stupid. To just put my mind in limbo and my feet up and breathe deep and reset. So I’ve started watching The Vampire Diaries at night and while I do not think it’s a very good show, it is exactly the type of show I need to watch. And I look forward to watching it. Because I am exactly that vapid and stupid at the end of the day. Scary, no? Rar!
The blowing it part? Ugh. Well – if you must know –
On Saturday morning I was feeling a little martyred, a little jaded. Because usually Saturday mornings I get to sleep in until around 8:30 which is a big change from 6:00 AM. But with Anson gone, that’s not happening. Not last weekend, not this coming up weekend. And obviously at no time in between. In fact there is precisely no time that I am off-duty for three weeks and I was just feeling a little wah-wah-wah-sniff-sniff-boo-hoo about that. The babies were complaining about the breakfast I’d made, I hadn’t had enough coffee, Roan was singing a song in fake Korean at high frequency and decibel range and my Zen personality was nowhere to be found. Something had to give, and as Roan committed a minor offense, I snapped at him with the fury of a really awful mean mom, and did the unthinkable to my boy Roan: dropped an F-Bomb on him.
And his face fell to the floor and my heart burst out of my eyes and my self-loathing grew so big it busted the ceiling and then I had to clean that mess up.
I apologized, tried to explain that it wasn’t anything he did really, that I was just empty of patience, and that I made a mistake. I told him that it is not ok for me to speak to him like that, and if anyone else ever did speak to him that way it would upset me hugely. Greatly. Violently.
My Roan in his true sweet always-ready-to-forgive way gave me a hug and said “It’s fine mom. It’s fine.” And he meant it but I didn’t feel fine and three days later, look at me I have to confess to the world about what I’ve done. Here’s the thing – I don’t have a pristine mouth. I swear often and with vigor around my friends. But only the ones who give it back. I edit and keep it clean around people who prefer it that way, and am happy to do so. I believe there are appropriate places and times for language of all types. Roan, for whatever reason, has already expressed to me that he hates it when I swear. And that kid, up until last Saturday had only really heard me use the swears that are PG. Even those bug him. Little weirdo. So dropping an F-Bomb on him, in the context of who he is and what he’s shown me about himself was a pretty big violation of our code to respect each other. Hence the self-loathing.
But I tried to make it up to him. My niece came over to sit on the babies while they slept, and I took Roan on a date. We saw a movie and walked around our Brooklyn neighborhood at night. It was beautiful and serene and we held hands and I bought him sweets and popcorn and soda. Yum. I felt calm and happy, and being with Roan was exactly perfect for me. Better than a Vampire Diaries Reset. I felt better and he definitely felt loved. Everything sort of fell back into balance which was something I just had to have happen.
So. A few lessons learned.
Number one: I need more sleep.
Number two: get coffee into my body quickly and with purpose in the morning, or else everyone suffers.
Number three: I’m bound to screw up as a mother more often than I’d like.
Number four: it’s probably ok that I’m not perfect, as long as I try to right my mistakes.
Number five: my husband better get home soon.