Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Just let them loose, why don't you, lady?!!!"

A gray-haired lady quietly but audibly fumed, through gritted teeth, at me, "Just let them [my 2 1/2 year old twins] loose, why don't you, lady?!!!" at the grocery store today.

My parents flew in from out of town. My mom, the twins, and I were out shopping. I thought that since I had another adult with me, I would give the twins a change of scenery and a chance to exercise and move about. Instead of having them sit in their stroller, they could walk around holding my mom's hand or mine. The twins were pretty good, for the most part (about 20-30 minutes). We were about to check out, when they somehow simultaneously decided to disobey and run for the wild blue yonder (slight exaggeration here).

I must confess, my first response to this woman's angry words was feeling rather offended, frustrated, hurt, and a bit angry. Who is this woman?

It isn't as if the twins were hanging from the rafters, milling through the shelves, or tripping everyone passing by. I have four children between the ages of 2 and 7, and I do my very best to teach them love, respect, responsibility, and consideration. I let them stretch their legs and arms once in awhile; is that a crime?

Perhaps this woman is from a generation where children are expected to be unseen and unheard. Or maybe she'd feel better if I had them on harnesses or leashes.

Alas, I want to let my children be children, while molding and shaping their characters into good persons. Striking the fine balance between setting rules to be followed (in the character formation process) and allowing their unique personalities to flourish can be a difficult challenge.

Lady, whomever you are and where ever you are, try not to get excited so easily. Life is too short to be so angry and frustrated.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

If only it were a fool's joke; or, maybe I am the fool

Today was a busy day in the making. My older two, one in 2nd grade and one in kindergarten, are home for spring break. That means, I have four children, between the ages of 2 and 7, around the clock. But, to add to the fun, I had invited two girls who had been adopted by a dear family, less than a year ago, for an all-day play date. So, today, I was going to have and did have six children, between the ages of 2 and 7, under one roof, with only one adult (me) all day.

To start the day, I got a super angry, spiteful e-mail forward from my ex. I don't even want to call him my ex, because I do not want there to be any remaining association between us. But, to to refer to him as the children's father would still hint at some sort of residual relationship binding us, albeit real but discouraging one. Our divorce was final July of last year. Since then, I have seen increasing anger, spite, wrath, and dishonesty. Enough dishonesty and lies to leave the judge appalled and offended, when we went to back to court recently. I could sense the hate, spite, and venom rising from the e-mail he had sent to my attorney and copied me.

This day, like most other days, I spent time with children, cooked, washed dishes, started some laundry, and tried the best I could to provide for well-being of children; whilst some angry 40 year old man explosively threw a temper tantrum fit for a four year old. So glad am I to no longer have the ties of marriage to such a man, because such a life would be grievously bleak, unpredictably frightening, and dark. I truly want to be a good mother to the children, and I have trouble sleeping thinking about where I can improve and where I fall short. It is April fool's day. Tears are streaming down my cheeks at the relentless, raging storm I have been weathering. Am I the fool here?