Photo: Springtime daffodils are a special treat, especially on a gray and rainy day like today. For them to be gifted from a friend’s garden makes them particularly special. Kissed with the drops of today’s rainfall, the petals were the perfect subjects for my macro lens. Water is life, Dear Reader. I love the way it illuminates and elevates, simply by being in unexpected places.
I sat with my family at the dinner table this evening and listened to Major recount the many events of his day. We don’t always get lively retellings of the comings and goings of kindergarten, but today provided enough fodder for Major to go on for a while. After an appropriate lull, The Husband turned to Minor and asked him to share a bit about his day.
“Did you have a fun day with Mommy? What did you do today?”
Minor doesn’t have school on Wednesdays, as you’ll recall. It’s him and me, and I’m always desperate to keep him entertained.
Maybe that’s why when Minor shrugged and answered, “No. It was just boring.” It really hurt my damn feelings.
“You didn’t do anything interesting with Mommy today?” The Husband prodded. Perhaps he thought he couldn’t compete with his brother’s elaborate tale.
“No. Not at all. We didn’t do anything today.”
I know, he’s five. It’s so silly, Dear Reader. Yet, it still feels so very unfair. The things they choose to remember, the things they choose to latch on to. You can give that child an entire day of yeses and all he’ll remember is a singular no. I nodded my head and faked a smile as I listened to him explain to his brother and father how boring and horrible his day was. I swallowed and sighed as he explained how there is nothing here for him to do, that the house is only full of things for grown ups, and how he wants to run away.
He learned about it on Bubble Guppies today.
I know. He’s five. It’s so silly, Dear Reader. I know it shouldn’t hurt my feelings.
I thought about the deadline I missed yesterday and the rewrite I’m going to be late getting to. I have so much work to get done in the next 24 hours and I’m utterly exhausted. Yet, when that child asked to help me make the mac and cheese for lunch, and when he snuggled up with me for an episode of Hey Duggee (our favorite show), I was totally content. Matter of fact, cooking with him this afternoon was one of the happier things I’ve done with either of my children in while. How I loved answering his questions. What a joy it was to teach him how to stir, to measure out the milk with him, to listen to his observations about the changing condition of the boiling pasta. I had a moment when I felt totally full and happy. Thoughts of a potential third baby fell away. Anxiety of all that must be done and all that has been left undone melted away. It was me and him and my kitchen, with yummy mac and cheese as our reward. Plus Hey Duggee, which is awesome regardless.
Matter of fact, I spent all day with Minor and did only a tiny amount of freelancing. I am on the verge of being overwhelmed by the amount of work that must be done (including preparing a talk and corresponding handouts for Friday morning). But I’d surrendered to motherhood today. I don’t have a lot of these weeks left with Minor. Summer will be here and then school will come again. The prospect of the empty house in September thrills me, but it makes me sad, too. Minor, my baby, is heading off to the world.
And so, silly as it is, that’s why his little sentence hurt my feelings. And it’s silly. I’m thinking too much about it. It wasn’t really his intention. He’s five and he’s controlled by his Id and I know that. I know that. It’s a good reminder, really, that motherhood is hard.
The Husband, bless him, he did his best to defend me. It didn’t really help, frankly. It’s not fun to see him get mad on my behalf. Minor has a lot of intelligence. He’s just not emotionally intelligent. So he didn’t understand why I was quiet and he didn’t understand why his father was angry. No lessons learned. No wisdom gleaned. It will take time for his little brain to grow and make the connections. In the meantime, I have to grow thicker skin.
And I will. I always do. Jeez, though. This little guys are powerful. I know someone warned me, but clearly I didn’t listen.
It’s mid-week, Dear Reader. How are you doing? How are you feeling? I hope you aren’t overwhelmed like I am. This is no fun. If you’re working hard, or even struggling a bit, take a deep breath with me. You are going to meet your obligations. Stay focused. Be kind to yourself. I’m here in the trenches with you, I promise.
See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.