I love summer.
Weeks before the last day of school, I begin anticipating the long stretch of time when the kids and I will all be home together.
I look forward to it every year. It is a little reprieve from the usual routine. People can sleep in. We can wake up in the morning and decide what we are going to do that day. We are not bound by a schedule. There are no lunches to pack and buses to catch. There is not homework to do. We slow down.
It is good for my soul.
I woke up last Friday morning eagerly anticipating the first day of summer. It was going to be a great day. I could feel it.
I slept in a litte later than usual, because it was summer. I poured my cup of coffee and relished in the fact that two of my children were still sleeping. The house was peaceful. It was good. My heart was filled with summertime bliss.
The other kids woke up and breakfast was served. We were off to a great start. For a few seconds. And then the demands started. And the arguing.
And more arguing.
I wanted to yell, “Don’t you realize this is the first day of summer?! You are ruining this moment! This is my time, people!!” But, we all know I couldn’t do that. If I would have done that they would have looked at me like I was crazy. Really, this was their time wasn’t it? Their summer vacation. They would have thought I had gone a little batty. So, I refrained from yelling about my summertime bliss that they were destroying with each “That’s mine!” “Don’t touch that!” “That’s my seat!” and so on and so forth.
We ate our breakfast and went about the day. The arguing was not going to stop me from enjoying this much anticipated first day of summer. No way. No how.
This day was going to be fabulous.
And then, the moment when I wished I had Take-Two happened.
You know the thing that says “Scene” and “Take” with the little arm that drops down to signal that what just happened was horrible and you need to start over. That thing. I needed that thing.
I wish someone would have stepped in and yelled, “CUT! We need to start this scene over from the top! Let’s go back to the moment before this woman lost her mind and reacted like a five-year old.”
Honestly – calling myself a five-year old may be a little generous.
The moment began when I walked around the corner into the family room where I found my son and daughter sitting next to a pile of papers they had ripped out of a coloring book. The papers were crumbled and covered with pencil holes. Someone went to town on these pages and there was not any evidence that actual coloring had taken place. It was more like a coloring book mutilation.
And it was my coloring book.
My beautiful coloring book that I had received as a gift for Christmas. The one I had taken with my daughter on our date to Starbucks. The one I had taken with my sister and my kids when we went out coloring. My fabulous coloring book. It was all mine. And now it was in pieces on the floor.
They had their own coloring books! Why did they need to go Freddy Krueger on mine?!
So what did I do when I saw my beautiful coloring book mutilated on the ground? What any reasonable mom would do I am sure. I yelled about how you cannot destroy things and especially things that don’t belong to you. And then I asked them how they would feel if that happened to them? All very reasonable.
And then – it happened.
I saw one colored picture on the ground. I picked it up and looked my kids in the eyes and ripped the picture into pieces. Just like that. Beautiful artwork – destroyed.
Take that kids! An eye for an eye.
As soon as the ripped papers hit the ground, my daughter started crying and my insides started turning. I felt a little bit sick as I looked down and thought, “What in the world did I do that for?”
Can I please get a “CUT!” Can someone right this wrong? My reaction was no different than a child’s would have been. I was mad they destroyed my book – so I was going to destroy something, too.
What happened to the first day of summer I had been dreaming of?
I picked up the pieces of the coloring page and found the tape. Piece by piece I put the picture back together. I handed it to my daughter and told her how sorry I was. I explained that mommies make mistakes too, and that I never should have treated her beautiful artwork that way. I told her just because someone hurts us, it doesn’t make it okay to try to hurt them.
I told her I was wrong.
We hugged and she told me she forgave me. I forgave her.
We all make mistakes and there are no Take-Twos in real life. I guess it’s how we handle those moments when we have done something that makes our insides turn that really matters. I know I have learned my lesson and I think my daughter learned hers.
I talked to a friend that day and she said, “Well, the summer can only get better from here.”
She was right. It has gotten better. This week has been a great week.
Summertime bliss is upon us.
Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four spunky, sweet, kind and sometimes a bit wild children. She has a passion for the written word and thinks libraries and bookstores are the coolest places ever. When not hanging out with family or writing, she can be found enjoying a good cup of coffee, running, spending quality time with friends, working on some type of project around the house, planning the family’s next trip to her favorite destination – Walloon Lake, Michigan, or very possibly – reading a book.
Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and outings with her children for Indy’s Child as a freelance writer and blogger and also keeps a personal blog, www.trulyyoursjen.com, that she has fun writing when time allows.