Friday, October 23, 2015

The Calm Before the Sh*t Storm

My day had started out with a really nice workout.  I was using an Indo balance board. It looks like a flat wooden sled on top of a foam cylinder.  From what I understand, the idea is to stand on it and not fall on your face.  After several tries, and almost ripping my trainer's thumb off, I got it.  There was a very brief moment when I was balancing when I was completely calm, almost zen-like, and the angels sang and I thought I had found the secret of inner peace that people who meditate brag about all the time. It lasted almost 2 seconds.

I left the gym feeling a bit cocky of the inner peace I had discovered.  I opened the windows and felt the air and thought, today is the day. The day that I can share the love and inner peace with my family and friends.

When I entered the house, I found a child trying to climb out of the refrigerator holding a gallon of milk. My kung-fu-panda-self-caught him just before he and the milk crashed to the floor.  I saw that Don had made coffee, and it was brewing.  There is something about a man who knows exactly what his wife is going to need, and I appreciated that mine knew I needed coffee.  I took a shower and fantasized about wrapping my hands around that warm mug filled with godlike aromatic substance.

I asked the boys to get ready and surprisingly they listened. I was convinced that it was my inner calm was projecting onto my children  and they appeared to have turned into perfect cherubs.
And then... a tidal wave of crap hit. Of course, I'm speaking metaphorically..mostly.

You see, last night my two oldest were playing the longest game of Monopoly ever played.  I'm pretty confident that they choose this game for the specific reason that it was going to prolong bedtime. When they finally made it upstairs to bed, they agreed to finish the game the next day. As I was wrapping myself in a towel,  I heard an argument brewing and by the time I had reached them my oldest son had flipped the board and all the monopoly money on the floor.  As I watched the houses and every other piece fly up into the air, it was only a matter of time before it came to fisticuffs.

Fin threw the first punch; then Parker did a cross right back at him.  I thought a few things.  First, I hope I don't step on a game piece because I'm not wearing shoes. Second, how can nobody even notice I'm only in a towel and dripping wet standing in the middle of the living room? Next, where did they learn to box like that, and lastly,  haven't we explained a million times that they should not hit each other? Clearly, they have been hitting each other for some time because it came about so organically.

By the time I broke it up, there were two ring side assistants commentating.  All of this commotion was upstaged by Wally, who couldn't take the stress and puked up his entire breakfast at that very moment.
Everything stopped, and each of my sons ran to Wally's aid.  They were so concerned, but not concerned enough to clean it up.

I told everyone to get in the car, and I would be there after through on some clothes, slapped some make up on my face and most importantly, I got my solace coffee, my one saving grace to reverse the negativity that had just been thrown at me.  As they made their way out to the garage, I made my way to the coffee.  It was then that I discovered that Don had taken all of it, leaving me a thimble amount to last me the rest of the day.

Trying very hard to not from completely lose my shit, I comforted my bruised soul with the promise of buying myself a coffee once I got to work because I certainly deserved it.  Except, I couldn't find my purse.  I frantically texted Don to 1. thank him for drinking all the coffee and 2. ask him where my purse was.

The boys have now been sitting in the car for 5 minutes when I discover that half of their backpacks were still in the house, and the reason I could see this was because all of the freaking lights were on.  My husband, the one that was on the top of my list had now made his way to the very bottom. I think it would be faster to crawl to his place of work, scratch a message in the sand and wait for him to stumble upon it than to receive a text from him.

I got in the car and said to my oldest heavy-weight champion, that I didn't appreciate the fact that he didn't turn the lights off upstairs.  To which he responded, "that is not my job, it's yours."  And this around the time that any calm or inner peace I may have earned in the morning, was gone and possibly never coming back.

I lost it. Put the car in park, turned off the engine and decided to wait there until someone, anyone, apologized.   The younger boys didn't know what to do, except repent for anything they have done wrong in their life.  "I'm sorry I dropped your toothbrush on the floor," said Oscar.  Wait, when?  Jack chimed in an apologized that he didn't buckle his seat belt. Finegan apologized for winning Monopoly and finally Parker apologized for being born.

I accepted their apologies, turned the car on and began our commute to school.   Yes, even Parker's because he is 12, and he thinks he can shock me, but he has no idea. I can't be shocked.

Once they were all out of the car, and on their way to Grandparents day at school I watched them as they walked into school. You would never know that they almost killed each other this morning.  They looked like they were eager to go to school and move on.

I don't know if it's kids or men, or just not me; that can move over a hurdle and not look back. Don and I can have an argument in the morning and at 5:15 PM I haven't missed a beat and will continue the argument like we hadn't had an 8 hours in between. He won't even know what I'm talking about. In this situation he will pick me up.  Literally. He does that when I'm getting negative-heavy and my emotions start weighing me down. He lifts me off my feet and it's impossible not to laugh.  The boys are used to it, I guess he does it a lot.  He lifted me in the checkout line at Costco once and it was very embarrassing.  But it worked.

There I was, in my car, feeling the aftershocks of anger despite everyone else involved in the exact same situation had clearly moved on.  Clearly there are things to be learned from our children. In this case, the tsunami had hit, washed away all the damage and by all accounts the sea was calm again.  Except within me. Everyone knows in a tsunami, you try and make it to higher ground, to save yourself from being swept away.  I had to make my way up to the higher part of myself that could see past the horrific morning.

Right before I got out of the car, I received a text.  I have friends that will just text a simple Good morning, and rather than responding with a list of why it wasn't, I took inventory as to why it was.  I mean, before it went bad, it was actually quite good. This text was my chance.  I could respond with a generic emoji smiley face or I could respond back with all honesty.  I typed back, Good morning and I decided at that moment to believe it.

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