Tuesday, January 14, 2014

sorry seems to be the hardest word, but also - the most freeing

Two full weeks in to the new year and we're still not at cruising altitude with our day to day operations.  Last week for example, schools were canceled on Tuesday because of the freezing temperatures. On Wednesday and again Friday, the kids had a two hour delayed start.  If you think that on the other two days of the week when school started on time, we'd promptly be there, you'd be mistaken. We had two tardies (across all four kids is actually eight tardies) on the two days that school started at 8:10 AM.  And then we had another one, yesterday.

Today, though, we were on time. But only because our bus driver is awesome and waited for us when he saw our crazy van swerving down the road five minutes before the bell was scheduled to ring.

So we're still not in our groove and are feeling a bit disorganized. Despite our resolutions of going to bed at a reasonable hour, no movies during the workweek, and no snacking at night ... we're going to bed too late. We're waking up too late in the morning. When Charlie asked me at 9:30 on Sunday night how I'd like to watch a movie with him, and then he made us hot fudge sundaes at 10:15 ... I just knew that we were doomed come Monday morning.  And that's how you bludgeon three of your new year resolutions in one fell swoop.

With all of this sloth like behavior coupled with remorse over delayed resolution implementations, the world has had the audacity to resume it's fast pace around us.  Result = our nerves are a little frayed as we hold on and try not to spin off the planet deep in to space.  So this morning when I couldn't find a $250.00 gift card that I recently received from work for my support on a project, my whole discombobulated world came crashing down around me and I snapped at Charlie.

Surely he saw it, because the last time I saw it, it was right there on the table.


Then he had his newspaper and magazines and various paperwork in that same vicinity of my gift card, and where did he put it?  Why, I'll bet he scooped it up and threw it out with the trash because yes, of course that's what he did!  Imagine this tense scene playing out for a painful five minutes before I huff in to the kitchen to fill up my travel tea cup with hot water, and I notice that .... wait ... what's that right there on the window sill above the sink?  And just like that I remember. OH YES! I put it there because I knew it would be safe.  That moment, you know the one when you feel like a GIANT HEEL? It's always uncomfortable, isn't it?

If my husband was more aware of my tone, he would have realized that I must have found the gift card, because my pitch lowered considerably.  But he was oblivious to my voice and was looking high and low for the gift card that I just accused him of losing.  Now, I have to tell him.  "Charlie, stop looking. Don't worry about it!"  But he kept looking and it took me another ten long minutes to summon the courage to tell him, it was not your fault ... I FOUND IT ... please forgive me; I'm an idiot sometimes.  It was so hard to admit I was pathetically wrong, but it was so good once that apology was out.  And after Charlie rolled his eyes and told me that I drive him crazy and how does he put up with me? (And I agreed)  .... It was over and we moved on in the day.

Tonight at Girl Scouts, Elizabeth and Carolyn showed off inventions that they made this past weekend, when I helped them earn their patch for "Inventor." (OH YES, I DID!)  Their inventions consisted of cardboard boxes that they designed to look like a circus (Carolyn) and a Farm, Bunny Hutch, Book Shelf, Television, and Marble Track (Elizabeth).  I should mention that when we arrived at the meeting (yes, we were a few minutes late - is it any surprise), the girls were loudly chatting and talking over one another and the troop leader was telling them that if she had to tell them to be quiet again, she'd send every one home.

That should set the scene for what we walked in to. 

Because they had spent most of the day Sunday working on their inventions, I knew how proud they were. So when during Elizabeth's presentation two other girls in the troop, who both have older sisters and are mature beyond their years, were laughing and snickering at her and kept interrupting with comments such as, "That TV doesn't even work, NEXT!" and someone else sarcastically sneered, "It's so lovely .... it would make a grown man CRY!" I caught a glimpse of Elizabeth's crushed face and I flew OFF THE HANDLE.

It doesn't happen all that often that I lose my cool, but tonight I did. I could feel the out of body experience happening, despite the fact that I was in an elementary school cafeteria barking at kids that weren't even mine.  I can't recall exactly what I said, but I know the gist of the stern verbal lashing surrounded them being very uncool and they need to show respect for Elizabeth and her project that she had worked very hard to make. Elizabeth had a lot of courage to stand up there and present it in front of the troop, and if they couldn't be nice, they could go sit ... OVER THERE ... I pointed my fingers, IN THE CORNER.  And then I concluded my rant with, "CAPISH?!"


Did I really just say CAPISH to a bunch of third graders?!

Elizabeth looked up at me with the most adoring, grateful eyes I've ever seen ... while the other two troop leaders gave me a look that was equal parts surprise and alarm.  (I'm sure they both were thinking, "Wow, we thought she was so nice! What just happened there?") Meanwhile, the girls looked shell shocked and hardly made a peep for the rest of the meeting which was a nice change since they'd been acting totally out of control up until that point the crazy lady came out.

Once Carolyn and Elizabeth had finished their invention discussion, the troop moved on to other activities; and it was ME that moved to the corner and tried to get a grip.  You know, for all the praying and mediation and channeling of LOVE that I try to do in my life, I'd really expect that I'd be better able to keep an even keel on my temper especially when I'm with CHILDREN.

While in the corner, a little voice came to me that said, "You need to apologize." Oh, I didn't want to hear THAT VOICE. It always makes so much more work for me. Nonetheless, when the meeting concluded and the girls' mothers arrived, I took them aside and told them that I didn't mean to be so short-fused.  Then I recapped what had happened, why I was so upset, and how I would have behaved the exact same way if someone was being so disrespectful to them.

All this to say, it wasn't easy to apologize to Charlie or the girls in my children's troop. But I did it, it felt great, and now, I'm sure I'll sleep better tonight.  Provided we ever get to bed.

Charlie tells me there's a Pink Panther marathon on TV.