This day was hard.
I saw the pout on my daughter’s face—heard the stomp in her step that said Notice me, I’m upset—and I took it personally.
I saw the cereal and milk on the table but no kids in the kitchen and I knew that it was time, yet again, to remind them how we clean up after ourselves at the end of a meal.
I noticed that when I gave instructions, eyes were hidden in books or bodies were busy practicing cartwheels and my words fell flat and that pang rose up yet again—they’re not listening to me.
I saw the note brought home from school, written with a chid’s hand at a teacher’s prompting that said Miss X will be calling you to talk about how to help me improve my behavior at school.
And I took it personally.
Some days are just like that.
I tried to pick myself up by my bootstraps so many times, but each time there was another moment, another small barb that made its way through the chink in my armor and I felt the sting again. There were moments when I wondered how to get through to my kids. There were moments when I wondered what it was that needed to get through to me.
The best part of the day was thirty minutes of reading together, lost in another world of someone else’s making, and then lights out. And quiet.
Although, sometimes in the quiet the thoughts and fears that get absorbed by the cacophony of the day come back to disrupt my mind. Right now my kids are still so connected to me, so pliable, so gut wrenchingly transparent and forthright. What happens when someday they meet a friend who suggests to them that what they have with me can be found somewhere else? My deepest prayer is that they don’t lose connection—connection to Jesus, connection to me. With connection there is hope. We all need to belong to someone else, to a community. Community doesn’t always feel good, its members being comprised of flawed and quirky people. But we all need it just the same because we are built to connect, to belong, to need one another, to feel safe in knowing someone else has our back.
I will always have their backs, and they know that. We end the night with prayers and kisses and hugs and I love yous with all sincerity and tenderness of heart and I know tomorrow will start a new day when I will stay the course and instruct and remind and back off and jump in and through it all say I love you and I forgive and will you give me another chance?
This day was hard. I’ll try again tomorrow.