I really, really might be the worst mother in the history of mothers. Even my mom guilt isn’t taking over on this one–and mom guilt is pretty much the most powerful force on the planet. Seriously, someone needs to harness that power for The Force (Star Wars moms will get that one.)
Yesterday, I watched all the moms drop their little ones off for the first day of school. I empathized with the shed tears, and watched goodbye hugs and kisses. I might of had a few moments of good mothering–I took the “first day of school pictures,” and posted or texted them to people waiting to see how the Big Kids looked. I also gave the hugs and kisses–even had a First Day of School Present for my first grader’s teacher. (Trust me, she’ll be getting presents ALL YEAR.) I texted my middle schooler throughout the day, checking in on the locker situation, the lunch situation, and the riding-the-bus situation. I prayed that my first grader’s spontaneous nose bleed was not an omen for the ENTIRE year ahead. I beamed when my fourth grader stopped at recess to give me a hug. I did have moments…small, but perhaps noticeable moments.
It was the after school hours that were my complete undoing. As I rounded the corner to my classroom after sending off all the First Day Students, I could hear the loudest first grader on the planet battling an invisible enemy. I could also hear my fourth grader pounding away on a laptop–no doubt composing a guitar band symphony. Moments later, my middle schooler arrived, STARVING, and demanded FOOD. I might have snapped. I could even have yelled. I’m not sure because either I blacked out or blocked it out. Either way, my hoodlums were quiet for a small moment, and I’m certain I scared other children not gentically bound to me.
This is where I FEEL TERRIBLE. I watched all the moms pick up their kids from school–running to eachother with hugs and kisses and promises of wonderful afternoons full of ice cream and solutions for world peace. In the meantime, my offspring didn’t even have the chance to suit up before the outbreak of nuclear warfare, and, there was in fact, the nuclear warfare. When we managed to army crawl our way out of school and into the car, I actually asked for complete silence–as if they hadn’t been asked to “use their inside voice” all day. And, (so sad), the first thing I did when we walked through the doors of home-sweet-home: tylenol. A headache was about to take nuclear warfare to the next level–and noone needs to see that. There. was. just. so. much. talking. and laughing. and more talking. LOUDLY.
I want to be present for my children. I want to listen to all their stories, woes, and celebrations. I want to hold them when they are upset, and toast them when they are happy. I want to know and experience it all. But sometimes, can we do it in a quiet voice? Pretty please?