Mama Confession #939.
Y’all, I showed out today.
Pitched one more fit.
Even slammed a door.
And I’m so sorry.
But I’m not sorry for what followed.
Today my littles were out playing with their friends, and is wont to happen with the under 10 crowd, as well as the over 9, under 25, 24-99 and all others, drama ensued. By with this group, it’s the kind that after all go in and have lunch and come back out, all is forgotten. It’s a different kind of grace, but grace nonetheless.
So emotions had been tight at one point and another. My oldest has been under the weather. My to do list, when I look at it in its entirety, overwhelms me and makes me want to crawl in a hole and hide. (Metaphorically speaking, of course. I don’t even have time to actually write down all I need to do, my time is so full of trying to do things.)
To say we were all primed and in a mood would be appropriate and quite spot on actually.
And then it happened.
The snarky words, the unkind look that broke this Mama Camel’s back.
I was done.
So much so I couldn’t even “use my words” as I encourage and sometimes even beg my crew to do.
I stormed out of the room. The kind of overdramatic huffing and stomping out of the room that was reminiscent of my teenage years. The only thing missing was the exaggerated “eye roll” and my raising my voice to announce, “You don’t even understand me AT ALL.”
I’m not sure I even understood myself this afternoon.
I went to my room and I slammed the door.
I sat for a moment, trying to figure out what had just happened.
My heart hurt. I felt like crying.
My children were turning on each other. Those who should love and support each other were pointing out differences with an accusing finger. They were calling names and poking fun and pushing buttons of vulnerability and frustration. It wasn’t pretty. And all I could do is sit back and watch.
Or was it?
I decided to take action. Time for a meeting. You know the ones I mean. Where I sit and talk and have moments of silence for emphasis.
*raised eyebrow* EMPHASIS.
So many times when the “fussin'” has ensued, I’ve sent one or another or all three of them to their rooms. I came close today. Real close.
And then I had a thought.
I thought about how I’ve been writing about how we need each other, we need folks. We need community and togetherness. If I believe those things, and I think they can help in times of strife in our community, our church, our world, then why not in my own home, with my own people?
So instead of sending everyone to his or her own room, I sat them down on Cap’s couch. I told them I love them, and that this home, our family, is supposed to be a safe place for them to be. A comfort. And that with the way we’ve all been using words and looks and unkind comments, it hasn’t been that. I talked about all of the brokenness and hurt in the world and how we didn’t need to bring that into our home. There’s enough sadness in the world already.
And then I dropped the bomb.
I told them to spend at least thirty minutes together, all three of them. They could do whatever, but all three had to agree to whatever it was and they had to be kind in words, thoughts, and deeds.
And guess what?
They spent more than 30 minutes together. Way more. They watched a show together, one they all liked. They paused it and had a snack together. One they chose–together.
And you know what else?
I felt peace.
In my heart. In my home.
Oh well, there was still a moment or two that I had to remind them and *ahem* myself to choose our words and actions a little more carefully, but for the most of the rest of our day, we had peace.
While I was trying to climb and conquer Mt. Washmore this afternoon, I turned on the TV. It was a Harry Potter marathon. I think it was the fifth or sixth movie that was on. When the headmaster Dumbledore calls and gathers all of the students into the main hall, he tells them why they were all searched upon arrival to Hogwart’s. He explains that evil will always try to get in, and it is up to each one of them–they each have the ability–to keep it out.
And so it is.
I felt like something was worming its way into our home today, has been for a little while actually. And it’s up to each one of us to be intentional with our thoughts, words, and actions–to keep it kind and a safe place for us to be. Safe to share our stories, our worries, our joys, and our fears. Safe. Comforting. A place where we can be ourselves and not looked down upon for it.
I still believe there’s a time and a place for being sent to one’s room for some down time, quiet time for contemplation. It certainly helped me to regroup and think through to a plan of sorts today…..well with the exception of that whole pitching a fit part. But I also believe there is a time to come together–not just a time, a need for it. Unfortunately in our days and nights of places to be, things that need doing, numerous forms of entertainment, and assignments to complete–we can lose track of our togetherness, so focused on each individual’s coming and goings. And sometimes what we need most is to be connected, to be with those who will always love and accept and listen, no matter what. Those whom we belong to. Sometimes we just need a little reminder of who that is and what that feels like.
Tonight I’m thankful for folded clothes and the wise words of a fictional wizard. I give thanks for each one of my gifts, my children–each so different and unique and yet so much alike. I have my fingers crossed that they grow up to be best friends, and that they always, always have each other’s backs. And most of all, I give thanks for togetherness and love and the laughter I heard as the afternoon wore on and they spent good time together. Sometimes it’s easiest to push away the very ones we need the most. Today I give thanks that we took a different route.
Sending them to a room to be together…..who knew. Sometimes that’s just what we need–after all, there’s strength in numbers. And a lot of fun too.
Love to all.