Today was a day like any other. We went to church and then had several errands to run afterwards. We needed to buy a pair of shoes for someone we have sponsored for Christmas this year, and then get some gifts for 7yo’s class Christmas party.
After much exhaustion from attempting to keep the kids occupied and quiet during the service ( a blog post for another day) I decided to let the hubby run inside to pick out the shoes while the kids and I stay in the car. During this errand, 4yo decides he needs to potty. Refusing to go into the mall, I call the husband and tell him that we are running into the closest fast food place to potty. This event goes without incident, thankfully.
I was pretty certain that the hubby would take us home prior to going to target for the 7yo’s class present, however he did not. Deciding to take only the 7yo with him.. well, this set the 4yo off! Silly me thought we just grazed by that whole tantrum phase, but I tell you I have seen a side of my 4yo that I never want to see again!
His loud shrill, of ” I want to go with DADDY!!!” Were loud enough for a deaf person to hear. At one point, I swear I seen his head spin around as he was kicking my seat and screaming like a little asshole. Silently thinking to myself, where is the damn holy water because my son has obviously been possessed by a demon.
It was a scene that would make anyone lose their shit, and I wanted to lose mine. It was at the point that I thought, this kid is acting like an asshole and he needs a spanking, that I stopped for a second. Again, while thinking in my head ” Are there not times when I am an asshole?” The answer is yes.
I recalled a moment when I was in a boardroom and told a senior VP that he was talking out of both sides. I thankfully caught myself before I took that comment too far, and he could have easily sent me out of the room and disciplined me. Instead, being the good country boy that he is, listened and explained his point of view in a calm and collected manner. You see, in that moment I was the asshole. I am not proud of myself and felt quite embarrassed, but you know what he gave me? He gave me the moment to be imperfect, to have passion and feel comfortable voicing my passion, disappointment and frustrations. He let me be human.
I can’t tell you why this moment popped in my head at this particular time, but it did. So instead of yanking that child up, and making things worse, I did nothing. I sat there and let him scream and kick and have a meltdown that belonged in the movie the exorcist. I let him be human.
Now, before you go thinking that he got his way, well he didn’t. He stayed safely strapped into his car seat the entire time, and was never allowed to go inside the store. When the screaming and kicking stopped and I heard nothing but the pitiful sobs of uncontrollable tears rolling down his face, that’s when I unbuckled myself and went to him. I rubbed his cheeks and wiped his tears, all while I was telling him ” I love you.” Within a minute’s time, he stopped sobbing and I could see the face of my sweet little boy again who was happy and ready to play with his Spider-Man toys patiently waiting for his daddy to return.
He may never remember this moment, but I will for the rest of my life. As I reflect on today’s events, I realize that I want my children to know more than anything, that no matter how they act or what they do, I will always love them. It doesn’t mean that I will agree with their choices or behavior, but I will love them anyways. I hope, that when I feel discouraged or difficult to like my children , that I remember this moment.
I remember my mom doing the same for my brother when he was younger and alive. His choices were not the best and his behavior sometimes worse, but she always defended him. I didn’t get it then, and while I think as a mom, I still would not have defended the behavior, I get it now. She was not defending it because she agreed with it, she was simply doing what she thought she needed to do in order for her to show her son that no matter what he was loved. I guess what they say is true, When you have children of your own one day, then you will understand. I understand mom, I understand.. Now.. I just need to keep a little holy water in my purse in case we have another episode….