I had the privilege of watching a little a boy put his jacket on the other day. The little boy couldn’t have been much older than four. He concentrated on putting his jacket on as hard as a law student taking the bar exam. First he tried the one arm in approach, only to lose the other half of his jacket. After giving that up as a bad job, he went to the old fail safe and used the over the head method. Except he did it upside down so when he tried to zip it he couldn’t.
Confused he continued to try, with patience you don’t normally see in a toddler. His mother was busy and missed this entire process. When she finally noticed him, jacket upside down, getting frustrated cause he couldn’t zipper it, she snapped at him because he wasn’t ready. She got annoyed because his jacket was upside down. She reprimanded him, because he wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing. Only him and I knew the truth. I am not calling this mother out. I am saying that at some point, we have all been that mother. Harried and tired and just wanting to get out the door without incident. It made me pause though. How many times, I wonder, have I gotten short with Cody about something that I shouldn’t have? How many times have I accused him of “not paying attention” when he was in fact paying more attention that he possibly could? How many times have I told him to hurry up, when in reality it was my fault we were running late. After all, who is the adult here? It is all perspective and everything in hindsight, honestly. Sure, I can look back now and say that. Tomorrow I’ll get annoyed when he is frantically searching for something while gobbling down a breakfast sandwich, as the bus pulls around the corner. On social media and even over coffee with friends, we often just share the “photo-shopped” parts of parenthood, we show the great works of art, and not the blobs, we show the smiles, and not the tears, we show the A’s and not the B’s…we share stories of how polite our kids were at an event and not how off the wall they were the store. As a result, we feel like we are the only parents who make mistakes.
We feel like the only moms or dads who yell at their kids, or feed them muffins when the morning is too rushed, or struggle as much (or more) with their homework as they do. We are not though. A lot of us have not so great moments, just like kids have their not so great moments. Today my son was amazing, yesterday he was a brat. There are days when I am witch…
That is okay. That is life. We all do it. We are not alone. There will be good days and not good ones. As long as, at the end of each day, we say I love you, give a big hug and kiss. Send thanks for the day no matter how good or bad it was, because each day is gift.