Dropping the F-Bomb

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.

11 thoughts on “Dropping the F-Bomb

  1. was just wondering how you were coping with the anson absence. Don’t know how you’re managing with such grace. One ‘mess up’ is down right honorable if you ask me. Glad you found a way to enjoy the amazing 7-nearly-8 year old R.

  2. Your stories make me feel like a normal person. THANK YOU! We all “blow it” sometimes. It sucks, it hurts and you’ll probably remember it with a cringe forever (well, that’s what I do!) He’ll be OK. Life throws F-bombs at you sometimes, it’s best to learn from it and see someone apologize for it. Doing the solo-parent thing is crazy hard. Blessings to all who buck up and do it all the time!

    p.s. don’t ever let them have super balls…all three may decide to see how hard they can bounce them in the kitchen and the F-bomb may come to visit. Or, so I hear.

  3. It so happens!

    Just the other day I did a similar thing to my son, now 12. It was sudden and unexpected and just burst out of me in a moment of utter frustration. To my amazement, he simply took a moment, stepped away from me and then returned and calmly said, “Oh hi Mom, there you are. I haven’t seen you this morning. Perhaps we can say hello and start again.”…..I could hardly believe his brilliance, resilience and ability to quickly turn that ugly moment that I had just laid on him around and instead turn it into a master lesson in forgiveness. Was I ever grateful for the second chance and his love.

    These are amazing moments to remind us and our children that we are human and vulnerable and yes, flawed sometimes. It allows them to know that they too can make a mistake and trust they’ll be loved beyond the moment. I’m sure you would always find a way to forgive Roan. Gratefully, our amazing children are able to show us their understanding, love and compassion sometimes quicker than we can forgive ourselves.

  4. I would have felt the exact same way in your situation! Thank you for sharing. I love that you’re not perfect and that you try to make things right when you make mistakes. You have an awesome heart! And you can see it in your strong, sweet sons, too.

  5. I think the saying “patience is a virtue” only looks good in needlepoint and neon spray paint. Give yourself a break. The apology was enough and your kid is a stellar example of how great a mom you ALWAYS ARE. Slip of the tongue and impatience comes with the job. It’s just sometimes you don’t get a lunch break on the job and the manager is a dick and your fav co-worker is home sick and your uniform is too tight and your name tag is crooked.

  6. I bet that one day Roan will tell this story to someone to prove what a badass mom you are! Hope the rest of your time goes quickly!

  7. So glad I’ve got some company here. I’ve been short on patience all week, and I don’t have as good a reason as you do – big hugs, Mama. Here’s hoping I can keep it together today! (and you, too!)

  8. Ah, don’t beat yourself up over it! It is HARD when you”re trying to be everything to everybody — and you are doing it for 3 weeks straight! Pat yourself on the back for only one blow up… I’d be willing to bet your son knows how lucky he is. Here’s hoping your husband makes it back early!

  9. It led to a nice date, and some great writing. The world will keep spinning, a little better for the mishap.

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