It’s amazing how much we cling to the surface.
Last night, I’d reached my limit of parenting. A long day without my nanny, me at work, kids on iPads and coloring at the conference table and all of us crowded (along with my staff) in a 500-square-foot office. Not a recipe for sweet, calm love.
And despite an acupuncture appointment that rendered me totally relaxed, I still felt like I needed time to not be on, time for “me,” with quiet, but the kids were there, hovering next to the bed.
It happens every night: I tuck everyone in and respond to their protests, “But I want to be with you,” “Can I read for just a little while longer?”, “Won’t you lay with me?” and more.
Finally, everyone in their own bed, drifting off to sleep (or so I believe) and I meander down the hall into my own room, climb onto the bed and begin to zone to Big Bang Theory reruns.
Inevitably, someone runs in, having to tell me something urgent, like, “What are you watching?” or “I just want to BE with you!”
This happens several times. One kid runs in, then another comes because she hears his pitter-patter of footsteps (more like clomp-clomp as they get older) and this goes round and round until I whisper-bark, “Go to bed!” and “NOW!”
And then I feel mean. Because I don’t like being the mom who yells.
But they’re in bed so I don’t ruminate too much and I drift off to sleep, so glad, finally, to have a few restive moments of peace and silence. My poor husband. When the kids are home, there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity for romance.
In the morning, like this morning, it’s as if the emotions that swirled in me last night never happened. I awaken and see my little guy sprawled on the bed in sleep beside me (he crept there in the night, tucking in beside me) and I just beam at how sweet and peaceful and innocent and lovable my son is.
Then my daughter and my older son barrel downstairs with early morning hugs and beaming smiles and love for me and I for them and I think, how could I be so annoyed with them last night?
Because emotions are an illusion, a roller coaster we ride and cling to as if supremely important but they just fade with the sunrise and sunset and we remain constant.
Isn’t that a wonder?
I’ll try to keep it in mind next time I get so tied up in knots about some thing or other, believing it supremely important, and try to remember that, really, any of these surface emotions are quick little dalliances, bait on a fish hook dipping underneath the water’s surface, quickly, quietly, usually never catching much of anything.