Numerous times today I’ve started a negative, complaining, blame-filled blogpost in my head. Okay. And a few times yesterday. And the day before that. This week could be summed up as one of frustrating, exhausting, indecision.
It’s the kids first full week at school. That means out the door, fed, watered, and dressed by 7:35. That also means that by the time they get home after 4pm they are pretty exhausted. There’s been a couple, “all of you go to your rooms for 20 minutes and then we can start over with being civil to each other” moments. That’s okay. It’s a lot to adjust to after a summer of late nights and sleep-ins.
But this week I also found out that the course I was told started NEXT week actually started THIS week. And the course that I had tried to begin LAST week but couldn’t because of technical difficulties I spent THIS week in mass confusion because of other miscommunications and technical difficulties. I feel like I’ve really done nothing on the classes, despite my best efforts. And when you’ve got ten weeks, you’ve got to make each week count.
And we’re also looking for a second vehicle. I’m away at a spiritual retreat this weekend which means Marc and the kids will be vehicle-less. It’s not a huge deal, but when we made the effort to go looking on Marc’s afternoon off yesterday and then are paralyzed by indecision for the next 24 hours and then run out of time today to do anything about decisions hypothetically made. Well… it’s all a lot frustrating.
And, of course, the start of the week saw a vehicle-load of stuff being brought from my parents’ house. It’s great to have pretty much all of our stuff moved now. But this was so not the week for more boxes to be added into a house that precariously balances between almost organized and almost a complete disaster.
So you have many points of stress and an exhausted Vanderfamily, which leads to the little vignette I want to share from today…
After school today started off pretty well. The kids wanted to play together but rather quickly it turned into bickering. At one point Luke flopped down and made some outlandish whiny screeching sound. He does this too much, and we’ve been after him lately to save the dramatic noises for when his hand is caught in the garburator. I told him he needed to go to the kitchen table and write out ten times, “I will stop fussing.”
He went to the table but a few minutes later he came stomping down the hallway muttering first to himself and then more loudly to me, “Why do you always ruin my good days? You ruin everything in my life!” I looked him straight in the eye (keep in mind the very stressful week that culminated in my stress pretty much making my arms shake for an hour this afternoon) and slowly my eyes filled with tears. And slowly his eyes filled with tears. And we kept looking at each other and eventually I said that I was sorry that he felt that way and something else (I don’t remember anymore) that was remarkably calm and non-hurtful.
He walked back to the kitchen to do his lines. I got back to what I was doing in the bedroom. But a few minutes later Luke barged into the room and reached out and hugged me harder than he’s ever hugged me before. “I’m so sorry for what I said.” And we cried a bit more and we hugged tighter. And I told him that I loved him and I forgave him. And that I understand that when you’re tired you say things that you don’t really mean — you just say them because you’re tired — and that I’ve done the same thing lots of time. But the good thing is is that we still love each other and we try again.
I’ve always known that Luke has a big, big heart, but I’ve never seen such a heartfelt and remorseful apology, from any of my kids. I also know that if I hadn’t been beaten down and wiped out from such a frustrating week that I probably would’ve responded in anger to what he said to me. I would have yelled something back at him — something probably just as mad as what he’d said. But I couldn’t today. His words really hit me. And it was good for him to see how his words hit me. And it was good for me to feel those words. To remind me that words spoken affect people, even if they aren’t always able to show back their true impact.
Funny that that moment was the moment that brought clarity and peace in an otherwise overwhelming week. I’m glad life and love works like that.
But really… I really hope next week is better.