It was a bad day. A long week at work, argument with my husband about household chores (This one NEVER gets old!), silent treatment from my 10-year-old because I said no to a sleepover (He asked me right in front of the kid! That’s a no-no in this house), and to top it all off I had managed to gain 3 pounds thanks in part to the mood calming ingredients in Dunkin’ Donuts. I was thankful it was Friday. The weekends just seem a little easier when I can face it with family, even if we’re not speaking or arguing.
This Friday morning rush seemed especially chaotic. I had too much to do and was feeling sorry for myself. I loaded the kids in the car and started the approach to school and business meetings. When the side door to the mini van opened my youngest, as always said,
“I love you, mama. Bye.”
“Love you too, Jack. Have a good day. Love you, Jacob. Have a good…” SLAM!
Before I could tell my oldest child to have a good day he flew out of the car, glanced back at me in time to see the hurt look on my face and gave me a nod that said,
“I know this is hurting you more than me and I can keep this up as long as it takes.”
I couldn’t believe it. My oldest, my tender heart, my little boy who was always so concerned about his mother’s feelings -- about everyone’s feelings for that matter -- had suddenly turned into something I was not used to. His look was right. This was hurting me more. I pulled away and tried to fight back the tears. I couldn’t cry. Not today of all days. I was already late for an important meeting and I don’t think this group of people would understand this dilemma.
Later in the day things started to get better. I was able to meet some writing deadlines and take care of a couple of meetings. I even managed to gather tax stuff, a task I compare to running fingernails down a chalkboard. By lunchtime, it was getting even better. I received a call to reschedule my annual gynecologist appointment and I got to have Thai for lunch with a good friend. After the hot and sour soup and halfway through the delicious fresh spring rolls, I was telling her about my crazy week. She looked at me after dipping into her Mi Krop and said, “Everyone’s going through something. Men will be men and kids will be kids. This is just part of life. It’ll be ok Beck. Trust me.” She gave me a smile and for some reason that little gesture made it all better. I realized that this week could be worse (I was thankful that it hadn’t) and we are all fighting some type of battle in our lives. This week mine just happened to be the bad mood of my pre-tween.
When time arrived to pick up the kids from school, I was determined to kick our weekend off in a good way. The boys hopped into the car and before I could ask the standard, “how was your day?” my oldest gave me a big smile and said, “I had a great day. Guess what? I want to go to Washington, D.C…” I listened as he carried on about what he was learning in Social Studies and realized the silent treatment had ended and my sweet little boy had emerged once again. And on that Friday in the Carroll-Oakland Elementary parking lot I realized what started out as a dreadful day suddenly brightened up with a smile and a few words from my blue-eyed boy who’s growing up way too fast. Turns out it wasn’t a “bad” day after all. Now if I could just get my husband to start his “honey-do” list…
Becky Andrews can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for the latest issue of Wilson Living Magazine on news stands Feb. 26.