Much of this week, in those few precious hours I have with my kids before work and before I tuck them in for bed, the kids, the girls especially, have been…mean...to me. Mean because they over slept, mean because I hurried them to get their shoes on, mean because one sibling took up time that they wanted from me, mean because I said no to another piece of chocolate, mean because I asked them to stop being mean.
I'm worn. I feel particularly disheartened because maybe for the first time, I feel like can't reason with them, like they don't care. They've always cared before.
These big-hearted loves of mine, they are growing up, and I race ahead wondering what will ever happen to me and my tender heart when they are teenagers. When their mean is not because they don't want to go to bed, or in an argument over movie night, but it is meanness over stuff that matters and stuff that lasts?
Am I screwing it all up? Today I looked at Addie as she screamed at me in anger. I think it was an emotional issue not a discipline issue. I did discipline, but it didn't feel right. I was calm on the outside but raging inside, I had to fight hard for the calm. Her yelling and raging lasted for so long, I kind of fell apart on the inside, while I told her I loved her and I would help her with whatever it was that was upsetting if she just stopped screaming at me. Eventually she did, and while she had a nice evening, I couldn't help but wonder if I did it all wrong, letting her have movie night anyway, and sleep in the playroom with her sister. Finally at bedtime, while getting the playroom sleepover setup, when Addie was sweet and kind and loving, Lily was short and rude and exasperated with me for the third night in a row, mad that I was setting up the bedding wrong. She sighs heavily and cliches the muscles in her neck and shoulders and shakes looking at me with big eyes like she just can't take me and my annoying blanket folding ideas for one more moment. While I prayed with her for the first night in 3, I cried because we are hurting each other and we don't know why and we aren't even really sure how to stop.
Lily cried too.
Much better at expressing herself than her sister who just whimpers and whines, Lily said that she has felt like she wanted to mean lately and she doesn't know why. She admitted that it's not just me, she really has been acting mean, and she wants to stop. She will try to do better tomorrow.
So will I.
Tonight though, I sit here sad, and exhausted, emotionally very tired. And yet ever hopeful and thankful that tomorrow is a new day, that I can live in that day, not race ahead to borrow worries of a day ahead that could be harder than this.