this morning it seemed like the bean had a major tantrum the moment our feet hit the floor. i wasn’t fully awake yet, i was cold, and i really had to pee. he was screaming full throttle and i felt like i had nothing – nothing – with which to withstand the onslaught of noise. so, i did what any truly mistake prone mama would do – i screamed back at him. then i slammed the door for good measure. niiiiiiiiice.
i ended up grabbing both the kids (now both screaming and crying) and climbing us all back into bed telling them i wanted to start the day over. i was still mad at the bean. i was also frustrated with myself and desperately wishing this whole thing would end and we could get back to being the happy little family. i tried for a few minutes to fix it and make it go away before i was able to quiet myself enough to realize how hard i was trying to fix it and make it all go away. then i stopped talking and lay there in silence just sitting with what was going on.
- the bean was upset
- i had had a strong reaction to his tantrum
- ok, i had my own tantrum
- i was very uncomfortable with the noise and upsetness
- i was still tired and cold
ok, we were laying on the bed so i took a moment to climb under the covers. then i said out loud, “i am going to take a deep breath.” i took a deep breath that was audible.
“now i am taking another deep breath.” this time i noticed the bean joined me, or at least he was making a deep breath sounding noise. hard to tell with him but still seemed like a nice shift.
“and another one.” we continued our noisy breathing and the pea had stopped crying. i did this for about seven breaths and then i got silent again. i noticed that the breathing had settled me and i was feeling a little more centered. instead of only feeling angry with the bean, i also felt sorry that i had yelled at him and generally acted in a mean way. i moved closer to him and i told him. i said something like, “it can be hard when you want to use the potty but mama is on it and so you have to wait your turn. i can understand that and i am very sorry that i yelled at you and i got mad at you. i love you.”
we stayed in bed for about ten minutes with me taking time to notice how i was feeling. trying to find honest ways to apologize to both my children. trying to let go of wanting the bean to apologize to me. still feeling grumpy and frustrated with my kids and myself. we did a fair amount of snuggling and hugging and general touching and kissing — connecting. then we got out of bed. again.
in the kitchen, trying to get breakfast ready i still felt on edge and irritable and it seemed like the bean was feeling similarly. i remembered that on the daily planners i am working on at home i had written one day, “each day is a clean slate.” i know i was trying to live this in a way when i brought us all back to bed. i was trying to restart our day on a different note. as i stood there getting breakfast ready i felt defeated that today was indeed a new day and it was going terribly. yesterday seemed like such a good day and i wasn’t sure i really wanted a whole new day after all. grump grump.
then i thought, well if i don’t want to wait until tomorrow to have a new day why don’t i just decide that each moment is a clean slate? why don’t i truly allow myself to let go of the crack of dawn bathroom shenanigans and set my intention to be forgiving and accepting (of my self and my kids) starting now?
there were a lot of voices telling me this plan probably would not work. there were also several telling me it sounded like a good, solid, real possibility. those voices told me to take a leap of faith into the next moment, the new moment, the clean moment. i put agave in my coffee, i took my first sip and it spilled on my sweatshirt, then i decided to leap.
i took a deep breath. i put my coffee down for a moment. i closed my eyes and i decided that this was a new moment and that each moment after it was also new and that i had a million chances each day to get back in balance. i decided and i believed.
it is funny how often i catch myself wishing i had a “real” spiritual practice. a regular sitting meditation, a circle i sat in monthly, a yoga practice…i wish i could get a break from parenting and get back to my spiritual growth and learning. it is funny because in other moments i can see so clearly that this is it. this.is.it. i have never called on my spirit to grow so quickly as i do in this calling. i have never wanted so much to be the best version of my self. i have never leapt so often or so far on faith alone.
right now my children are my teachers and in this moment right here with my fingers tapping the keyboard i want to be sure to thank them for coming to me. for coming to me and being patient with me and giving me the space to make mistakes and then leap forward. bless you bean and pea. the ultimate practice.