Last week, my ugly came out. I mean, my super-nasty, roaring, frustrated kind of ugly.
I don't want to go into all the details but parenthood has been a bit challenging lately. We are feeling our son push up against things that he has been compliant with until now. There is more fit-throwing and back-talking and all of this just feels amazing to me. It caught me off guard because I thought we just had the kind of child who was just "easy."
I'm pretty sure I had some measure of pride built up in myself. Thinking that I had done something all right because I had this super-well-behaved, polite, adorable son.
Needless to say, I've had my share of humble pie. It's not all bad, but it's hard. It's very wearing and I feel a twinge of guilt for feeling relief that I get to come to work and not have to handle this all day long. I honestly don't think that I could.
To all the stay-at-home-moms out there - I quite seriously salute you. I don't know how you do it.
This particular night last week, I reached my breaking point and he saw the side of me I swore I'd never let him see. I totally lost it and my little almost-three year old saw my anger and fury. He heard my words and my tone and saw my upset face. I got big, really big. And he got small. Very, very small.
The scene ended with me slamming the door to his room and me weeping on my sofa.
I felt like a mother-failure. I only have a few hours a day with him during the week - why can't I hold it together? What if he's afraid of me now for what he just saw?
I would never be able to undo that scene. It's there. It happened.
I gently opened his door and I saw him stir a little and then lay still on the bed, as if he was trying to hide from me.
"Hey, buddy." I scooped him up and held his big-boyness in my arms. He's so heavy now. Far from a baby. More than a toddler.
"I'm sorry. I am so sorry. I should never scream at you Tommy. That was wrong. Mommy was wrong. Do you forgive me?"
"Yes," he replied quietly, hugging my neck. "I'm sorry I made you upset mama."
Break my heart into a thousand pieces.
"It's okay buddy. We are learning how to be patient and kind together. It's okay. And I forgive you too."
He squeezed my neck again and I laid him back down on his bed, tucked him in and kissed his forehead one last time.
"I love you bud."
"I love you too mama."
With the challenges we've been facing lately, it's quite possible we could have another encounter where my ugly comes out. And I hope not, but I'm human and raising a child is humbling and hard.
The prayer of my heart is that we, both myself and Todd, would be the kind of parents that say I'm sorry when it's needed. That we say, I was wrong, when we were. And that often admits that, I make mistakes.
Because I do. Because I will. Because I have.