Something clicked the other day. I was doing what I usually do, being a mom, trying to get the morning chores done, trying to get dressed, trying to keep the boys from killing each other just for another hour, trying to get the last boy fully dressed, trying to plan an assault on a small country. You know, the usual. Then. Click. I realized I was me.
Since I wrote about being depressed, I’ve had good days and bad days. I’ve tried to get outside more. (Success) I’ve tried to exercise more. (Partial success) I’ve tried to go to church more, like once a week. (Fail) I’ve tracked my days. But even on the good days, I didn’t feel completely whole. I still felt like something was missing, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I just knew I wasn’t stressed, depressed, ready to pull my hair out or collapse crying in a pool of tears.
Then yesterday Tornado E was trying to build a Lego horse for his knight. (Note: When you’ve decided to move your child to small Legos, don’t buy the sets; buy a starter kit with just blocks. Some friendly advice from your local village idiot.) He was tackling it in a more complex way than I would have, but he was bound and determined to do it his way. His way meant more frustration and a whine, which feels like a knitting needle puncturing your ear and going into you brain, whenever something wasn’t working right. I kept popping into the room to tell him to calm down as I tried to floss. On the fifth time, I put down the floss, sat down in a chair next to him, and asked him to come over to me. When he did, I grabbed his hands, looked him in the eye, and told him that sometimes we needed to take a break when something was giving us a hard time. Then I told him to shake it off, and since he just stood there, looking at me like I was a crazy, old woman (Little dude, you haven’t seen anything yet), I started shaking his arms. I released him, and he started to whine. I repeated the process. When that didn’t work, I got up and made him dance, which made Tornado S come over and want to dance. Then Tornado S wanted a family hug. After all that silliness, Tornado E went back and finished his horse.
And I realized that I didn’t send him to his room to throw his temper tantrum. I didn’t shut the door and wish it all a way. I didn’t grind my teeth in frustration. I did what I used to do, take it all in stride.
When we went to the store, I laughed as Tornado E jumped from color tile to color tile, encouraging Tornado S to follow so that he didn’t fall in the lava. And I joined them.
God, how I missed just flowing with the day.