The sounds of their screaming drifts in and out of my psyche. Or maybe it is just me, drifting in and out of consciousness…I can’t quite be sure at this time. My body aches from yesterday, but more so my minds reels with a hopeful notion that today will be better.
Yesterday was a bad day, a difficult day. I try not to become emerged in the ill feelings of the day before, because that would be unfair. I’m the adult here, I should be the one to make the change. But sometimes, I just feel so tired.
It is time to get up, I can determine that much at least. I heave my body out of my warm and restful haven and trudge to the washroom.
The day has begun and I will do my best to be better today. Today I will scream less, I will listen more and I will love outwards…Today I will improve. Because if yesterday taught me anything it is that I have more than enough room to expand my calling as Mom.
As I brush my teeth I gaze into the haggard face that I sometimes still recognize as my own. I see the doorknob turn from the left corner reflection of the mirror. And not so softly spoken words blare loudly throughout the echo easy room.
“I’m hungry! I want food!!” Immediately I feel the blood boiling, but I remember that today I will be better, so I gently say;
“You have to be quiet, your Daddy is still sleeping…And I didn’t hear any please and thank-you’s, so you will not be getting anything until you use your words.” I can’t deny that I place a snarky approach to it, but that is purely for myself, because a 3 year old does not pick up on those nuisances. Do they?
I pick her up, and she feels heavier. When I glance towards her bright eyes I realize it has been awhile since I really noticed her wonder. The guilt rises in me like the upcoming waves of a tempest- fast, sharp and all encompassing. Where have I gone? What has been so important in my life that the beauty of my child has been overlooked? What am I so rushed to get on with?
But once again thoughts of yesterdays downtrodden ways break me. I remember the screaming in a home that wasn’t ours. The sideways looks from adults who had the conclusion I could not…Would not parent the way I should (or that’s how I took it at least). The temper tantrums that lost control and the tears that I blinked away in an attempt to hide my frustration from the world.
I try to push these bad thoughts away because at this time I think it is the only way to remedy it. I cannot go dwelling over every unfortunate day or bust of a dinner party. It is not fair to them and it is not fair to me.
But that is not a good enough reason is it? To just let the thought and aggravating memories just flit away as though never there at all…Impossible and you know it.
The idea leaves me as soon as it enters because now, right now I am getting my children breakfast. I groggily grab the cereal that I know has too many additives and is not suitable for breakfast, but I pour anyways. The milk atop it makes every colorful ring swim in a pool of dairy and seeping sugar.
With my eyes still heavy from sleep I carry their food to where they eat. They thank me for getting them their food and for a brief second I do not want to acknowledge their gratitude. I do not want to give them the credit for their good manners. But that moment passes too and I kiss them hard on the forehead and say “you’re welcome”. And again the guilt comes when I realize I am acting as childish as them. But I am 23 years elder to his 5.
I sip my coffee and rather than be drawn to my social media networks as usual in the early daytime hours, I instead sit and watch them. It is not long before they finish eating and make their way into the living room. There they play, perfectly as any child should.
And I wonder how I could be so angry with these two little people as I was yesterday. How their actions and words could have broke me so badly that I dreamt of their misdoings in that place between awake and sleep last night. How I could have possibly overlooked the blatant fact, that they are simply children. And moreover, they are humans. Humans that I am responsible for.
It is in this moment that I recognize that we all have bad days. Even the smallest of people have days that do not go the way they had planned, and as the person who they look to for guidance and comfort I understand that with each day filled with tantrums and toil, with understanding and appropriate reprimand we will can create a good day too.
I walk towards them, and sit down. Without asking, they gravitate towards me and their nearness makes me happy without me even processing it. I tell them that today is a new day, and it will be a good one.
And then we play.
And in this moment all is good. Today is new, and how it goes is up to me.