Yesterday was a metaphor for all my days.
It started out with patience and love, met a bomb threat in the middle and ended in a death wish.
In the morning The Mayor wanted more milk, didn’t get it and lost his mind as we headed out the door for school.
He cried so hard that he forgot to pay attention when his father gave him his standard two hugs and two kisses goodbye.
As soon as he saw K moving away from the car and towards the train station he began to wail much harder lamenting the missed experience.
He cried so hard all the way to school that by the time we got there getting a grip on himself was far beyond his faculties.
I knelt on the floor near the door for my two kisses and two hugs only to have The Mayor collapse into my lap, throw his arms around me and snuggle face first into my chest.
I had just enough time to get a swim before I had to start work, but I decided to fit it in later and settled in to rock and quiet The Mayor.
I tried to think of soothing things to say to my still sobbing boy.
“Do you know what, Mayor? My love is filling you up --can you feel it?"
"It’s filling you up to your knees… and now it is up to your waist… Hey, it’s all the way up to your shoulders now!!!"
"Mayor! My love has filled you up all the way to the top of your head!”
The teachers all offered to take him. I could have left earlier.
The thing is, The Mayor so rarely wants affection from me. I try to make time for it when he does.
It’s a relief, in some ways, to finally be able to hold him.
I kissed his hair and continued rocking him.
Thirty minutes later he finally pulled himself together and I went to work.
That afternoon, half an hour before I planned to leave early for the pool, one of the teacher’s called me.
“There’s been a bomb threat at the school,” she said. “The children are safe. They think they are on a field trip. We need you to come and pick them up.”
She gave me directions to the community center building in the public housing project across the street from the school.
What is most striking to me about the news of the bomb threat is how little it fazed me.
I didn’t even flinch.
When I told my neighbor about it she said,
“Ugh! Today must be a test day. Teen-agers!
Later, when we were gathered for dinner, The Mayor suddenly said,
“Mom, if you were to go away or die and left just Rooster, Daddy and I, that would be okay. I don’t really need a mom.”
I wanted to fling my dinner plate at him.
Could he not have told me this before I spent thirty minutes of Me Time cuddling and rocking him until he stopped crying in the morning?
How about before I bought him the powdered sugar donuts he asked for on the way home from the bomb threat pick up?
Perhaps before I cooked a meal for him?
[I’m sure my mom and dad are chuckling and thinking, "Mwaaa ha ha ha! Karmic vengeance finally achieved!!!"]
One of the hardest things for me about parenting is that way that I am tested and manipulated all day long.
No one apologizes.
No one says,
“Sorry I was such a manipulative turd today.”
“How could we have worked out our conflict better today, mom?”
[Ha ha ha! To dream the impossible DREAM!!]
There are many nights when I go to bed with a tangled knot of anger, frustration, guilt and sorrow filling my chest.
I know I am supposed to take a deep breath and remind myself,
“He’s only three…"
[giant nostril inhalation]
"HE. IS ONLY. THREE.”
But look, I know how old he is.
It's just... his interpersonal relationship skills?
I'd better get back to that meditation thing.
What?What did I do?
I didn't do anything.
It wasn't me.