Today is my first day back after vacation. A LONG needed vacation- more even than I realized. (the good news is though, I have another one in a few weeks!) My husband started a new job last week (yay!) and my parents came for a visit. So last week I did not take the kids to school and I was on vacation for most of it! So for me this is really the first day of our new schedule. My son, all of two, does not do transition well. For the last 7 months my husband has been a stay- at- home dad, supporting me in my new call and helping to smooth the transition for the kids. Now, he is leaving the house for work and I am shlepping two kids to preschool/church where I also work.
This is freaking my son out. And me in all honesty.
So this gets us to this morning- It is pouring down rain. I get up, shower, etc. Will walks out the door about 8:20, around the same time as we are to leave. “They just need their socks and shoes. Oh, and Maggie needs her hair done.” He tells me. “Great!” I think. But what should take 5 minutes proceeds to take 30 minutes. Crying when the TV gets turned off. My daughter not wanting her very curly and very tangled hair brushed. My son refusing to put socks on. You name it. It happened. I am tired, I am NOT a morning person. This is not working.
Finally we get on my son’s raincoat, everybody has socks and shoes, I fix my lunch, grab their lunch boxes and out the door we go. My hands are full, the kids are huddled under an umbrella and my son, wearing canvas Toms stomps through a large puddle. I breathe deeply and exhale, I choose to let it go. They will dry, it’s not a big deal. But then he finds another puddle, and sits in it.
This should be funny, even cute. I think now that if I were a good mother- a relaxed mother I would laugh, throw everything out of my arms and join him in stomping and singing and dancing.
But I am not that relaxed and I do freak out at little and unimportant things. So this little thing, the act of a two year old sitting in a rain puddle sets me over the edge.
I flip out! I do drop all my stuff, but not to play- tp pull him out of the puddle, yell at my daughter to get in the car- NOW! I drag my son screaming inside to change his pants, I debate for a second to let this go and let them dry too, but no- he needs new pants.
After a quick change, I carry him screaming to the car and everyone gets buckled. There is a roar of laughter from the backseat. This is usually enough to turn my day around. I appreciate my children’s abilities to feel whatever feelings they have and express them outwardly. I also appreciate their ability to go from screaming to laughing in seconds. But today it is not enough. It is 8:50 and I know what that means.
It means we will arrive at church 9am on the dot. And the rain is adding to the stress because 9am is drop off time and we have a parking shortage at church. Someone will be parked in my spot, my reserved parking spot. My reserved parking spot that is next to the building that every parent covets, especially when it’s raining…
First- I KNOW… in the world of problems this is not something I should care about. And I really, really shouldn’t care. I shouldn’t… but I do. So for the next 10 minutes I obsess about my parking spot. I think about all the things I want to say to the parents who ignore the reserved signs and I dream about what kind of signs I can put on their cars. Here are some for your amusement:
Thou Shall Not Covet Your Neighbors Reserved Parking Spot ~ Do you work here? No. Then please don’t park here ~ I am the pastor of this church and all they gave me was this stupid parking spot, so please let me at least have that!
Okay, that last one is way over the top, my congregation is kind and generous and I am compensated well, it was just funny in my head this morning.
So I arrive and alas, someone is in my spot, but my Office Manager’s spot is open. So I pull into her spot, get out of the car, let me daughter out in the poring rain, but cannot open my sons door because this spot is too close to the preschool director’s spot.
I get back in the car, my daughter climbs back in and I wait for the person to leave. As they walk to their car I breathe deeply deciding not to say anything. I put the car in reverse but before I can pull in someone else takes the spot. “NO, NO, NO” I yell and throw the car in park. I walk in the rain up to this person and proceed to ask her as calmly as I can muster to please NOT park in the reserved parking. This is not very hospitable of me, I know this and I am sorry.
Today is a day that started off wrong. Like my son I do not transition well. I usually can keep it under control and HATE when I loose my cool because of days like this. But it happens, and obsessing about mornings like this does NOT help me, but I do it anyway.
Psalm 37:8 says “Fret Not, it tends only to evil”
Yes, yes it does. Knowing this and feeling this are two different things. I take the kids to their rooms and when I arrive at my office a parishioner is waiting to talk about her committee. I confess to her my moment in the parking lot and she so eloquently she says “Well it’s good to know you’re normal.”
This seems like a silly blog post, but here it is. Because no matter what it is- at one point or another it rains, some days it seems to pour. The key is holding your emotional heart in check and processing. I am not upset about a spot (I keep having to tell myself…), I am dealing with transition. I am still trying to navigate the lack of freedom I have in my mornings and the responsibilities I have now that my husband is working again. Each day of life comes with fret and evil, today had a little more rain than I could handle without caffeine and I will forgive myself and pray I didn’t make that parent’s life more stressful. May she, and God forgive me.