( I originally wasn’t going to put this on my blog. But, when I thought about it, I realized that I promised that I would be honest in my writing here. Parenting isn’t all rosy-huggy-snuggy moments, but raw, emotional moments, too. This was written last night after a very emotional day.)
It has been one heck of a full week of school with the boys. Our weekly schedule looks like the following. On Monday nights, DH has band practice. On Tuesdays after school, we drive down to Grand Rapids for Casey’s OT at Easter Seals. On Wednesdays, I have my class at night, and the boys have catechism at church. Usually we don’t have anything on Thursdays or Fridays, but I do have school board meetings on the second Thursday night of the month, and at least one Thursday a month, DH has a band gig with a jazz band he’s in. One weekend a month, I’m in class up in Traverse City.
So, tonight was our usual drive to Grand Rapids for Casey’s OT at Easter Seals. OT was great, Casey loves it, and Kerry and I get some one-on-one time that he has been craving so much of lately (more on that later). I’ll sometimes take them to a store afterwards to get a little treat at the dollar store, or get a snack somewhere before we make the trek home. This way, too, we miss the rush hour drive with all the traffic. Well, tonight, I wanted to go to Jo Ann Fabrics. Yes, you know the store… the craft store. The store that Momma never gets to go to when she wants, and she usually has to leave with two misbehaving boys who have been told several times before going into the store what kind of behavior Momma expects IN the store.
Tonight was no exception. The boys whined about going to Jo Ann Fabrics. They complained. They started their tomfoolery the minute we walked into the store. I tried to be patient. I told them several times to stop horsing around. When we got to the flannel aisle, they were in a full-blown chasing-each-other, slapping-each-other mode, and I had had enough. I started walking away, and told the boys it was time to leave.
I was so upset and embarrassed. I told the boys how disappointed I was in their behavior. I was downright angry. I got the boys into the car, slammed the door, and got in on my side. I started yelling at them, telling them how upset I was, and how unfair it was that I don’t get to go to a store that I want to go to, but it’s okay for me to take them to a place where they want to go.
Then the tears started. They were crying so hard. They told me I was the worst momma in the world. They said that I didn’t love them.
That comment ripped me to the core. I love these boys more than I love myself. Especially considering how I feel about my own relationship with my mother (non-existent), I was devastated to hear the same words come out of my sons’ mouths: “You don’t love me”.
Granted, I know that my own mother didn’t care squat about me, and if she did, she had a horrible way of showing it. She and I still have not spoken to each other, and it is going on 6 years this coming Christmas.
So, on the way home, I was reflecting about the chain of events that happened that night: the yelling, the crying, and the horrible feeling I felt when saw the sadness in my sons’ eyes. I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw that Kerry was asleep. Casey was quietly listening to the music, looking out the window.
I said to Casey, “I feel really bad for getting angry at you and your brother tonight”.
Then the tears started up again. Casey started crying, saying, “You shouldn’t feel bad…”
I asked Casey what he would do if he had kids and his kids were acting up in the store. He said “I’d tell them ’stop it please’, then I’d take them to do something fun”.
So I asked, “But Casey, they were acting up in the store. You’d take them to do something fun after they were acting poorly?”
“Yeah, Momma, I’d do that.”
The logic of a six year old… maybe I should have taken them to do something they wanted to do first before I dragged them into the store I wanted to go to. But, wait, aren’t I the parent, and I make the decisions? Shouldn’t the boys know that sometimes that they have to go some places and do some things that they don’t really want to do, but they have to behave anyway?