Change is great. Change is healthy. Change is good. These are the things I keep telling myself because if I don’t I will spiral into a pool of self-pity and sorrow. Okay perhaps I’m being a bit dramatic, although, our writer-reader relationship has probably evolved to a point where that doesn’t surprise you.
The Brown household has been feeling the pressure of change in these last few weeks and despite my valiant attempts at embracing it all, I find myself withering fast.
Jamie and I are having to work double time at the shop hoping to have it ready for production by early May. However, even that seems to be a long shot now as there continues to be issues popping up left right and center. This in turn leaves the poor children dangling helplessly over the precipice of neglect and abandonment. Again, with the dramatics.
We’ve enrolled them in an afterschool program which I am positive they will love, however it hasn’t started yet. So we’ve been doing what so many Ma and Pop shops have done since the dawn of Ma and Pop shops. We haul our small humans to the Panini factory and they hang out there until we are done our work. Lars definitely has it better as he is in full days of class so it is rare that we need to bring him, but Soph is still in kindergarten which means only half days. Every morning Jamie and I load her and approximately 700 teddy bears into the car to make the journey across town to work.
We then toil away with whatever is on the chopping block that day while Sophie interrupts us every five minutes. She is very good about keeping us in the know when it comes to her hunger or her boredom or when something smells slightly strange in her general vicinity. Occasionally her left toe is bugging her and when it’s not any of that you can be sure that some other peculiar five year old woe has hammered down upon her.
It pains me to say it but we can see the agitation in her everyday life. She is ornery and short tempered. She continues to try haggling with me for mere sport.
“Mom, I will clean my room if you give Sleepy Bear a birthday party tonight. With cake. And presents.”
“Umm first of all that bear has had like ten birthdays already this year and secondly you will clean your room so it doesn’t develop an army of bug creatures from all of the filthy clothes that are peppered around the place.” This is just one example of our bartering conversations.
Oh and the tantrums. How could I forget the tantrums?
There we were in the parking lot of the school while she was screaming louder than I’ve ever heard any human being scream. Her little face was nearing purple while tears streamed down her cheeks.
She was perturbed that her brother had gotten into the car before her.
As the child stomped her feet on the pavement I reimagined the song Hello, by Adele.
As the lyrics swept through my skull I started to think. I knew that these temper tantrums were stemming from somewhere. Sophie wasn’t inherently angry like this—no kid is.
Other Moms were walking past the spectacle side-eyeing my dilemma. In that moment I felt like the worst parent to have ever walked those school grounds. Although I’m sure that most of them just looked at me with a sad pitying kind of stare. Let`s face it, we’ve all been there.
It didn’t take much to realise what the problem was. My daughter was simply missing me. She has never had to share me with a full-time job and that is a big challenge for our little family. So instead of threatening her with no ice cream after dinner. Or pulling out that notorious whisper-demon voice and telling her to get into the car. I wrapped my arms around my little girl and I hugged her hard.
I did say something into her ear as I embraced her, and that was that I loved her. It took a few seconds but she relaxed, melted into my hug and eventually told me she loved me back.
Change is great and change is healthy and it is good too but we must remember that change can only be all of these things if we take the time to help escort the people we love most through the difficult times.