We do this to ourselves as parents, I know this. We set ourselves up for disappointment by having an expectation of how a certain day or activity will go.
I don’t often have my girls on the weekends. In the summer months and other school breaks we are spoiled with lots of free time together. However, during the school year we do not have many days together in which we don’t have to run out the door for school in the morning.
I had the girls overnight on Saturday, and I had visions of a leisurely morning of bonding and board games, pancakes and pumpkin carving.
The morning did not start out smoothly. One somewhat grumpy child irked the other, and before long they were at war.
I tried to let them resolve it on their own, but at a certain point, I got pulled into it. As the last proverbial straw was laid upon the camel’s back (me being the camel), I burst into tears. (I know, the camel didn’t cry – he broke his back, but whatever. I’m thinking he did both).
My waterworks surprised us all. I hadn’t had a good cry in a while, and once the floodgates opened, I bawled. It was a number of things, of course, that contributed to my undoing…my lack of sleep, pent up emotion about the Elephant, the arrival of my monthly bill, and the unrealistic expectation of the perfect morning, just to name a few.
I felt terrible because the girls, of course, thought my tears were all their fault. I am all for letting my kids see me experience authentic feelings, but…I know better than to make my children feel responsible for my feelings…and in that moment, I know they did.
I left the room to pull myself together, and Beau came after me, asking if I was okay. As I was nodding and blowing into a tissue, we heard the front door slam. We both knew this meant Ruby had left the house. I sighed, feeling defeated.
“I’ve got it,” Beau said, and out the door she went.
Provocateur turned peacemaker, just like that.
After I took a few minutes to collect myself, I went toward the front door to see what I could do to help with the peacemaking mission. What I saw was this…
This moment took my breath away, and it let me know we will be okay, we three.
Love is all we need.
(Thank goodness, because we were out of pancake mix…and eggs…)