It feels like a month or more since I’ve yelled at my children but I checked the dates of my last two posts and it has been 19 days. 19 days without losing my temper. 19 days of remaining calm no matter what they say or how they act. As you’d imagine, they’re so much more pleasant to be around with every passing day. The cycle is broken and it seems so simple now that we’re in the midst of a good spell. I suspect there will come a time when the stress will build and I’ll blow again; I can’t pretend this will last forever but who knows, it might. Our family yoga lessons begin Saturday. Dance is going well for both of my children, not without hiccups, but plodding along. I am working on being trustworthy and consistent, again, and it’s just astounding how quickly things start to come together for the three of us when I am solid. Our neighbors must be shocked at the quiet. No door slamming. No screaming. No insanity. It feels so good to be in control again.
A week or so ago I was in a public place with other parents and kids around. One mother, who looked harried, angry, and unfriendly, was loudly berating her child over his homework. Why are you so sloppy? Don’t you have any pride in what you do? STOP FOOLING AROUND. What’s wrong with you? It all sounded so ugly and mean. I wanted to take the boy and whisk him away but there’s no harsher reality than hearing someone else say the words you’ve said to your own children. It was enormously helpful to bear witness to that, as awful as that sounds. It has helped me stop myself before those words leave my lips ever since hearing them from hers. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to be given outside reminders of how absolutely essential it is to treat our children with love, respect, and kindness.