It rained yesterday. The kind of rain that makes you want to play hooky. And I woke up knowing that I would have to go out in that downpour with two kids, a broken umbrella, and undoubtedly end up with wet socks. Mornings around here are temperamental. We never know when someone is going to break. Some days it's Mommy, some days it's Mac, on most days it's Caitlin. For the last four weeks I have been focused on making mornings easier. Calming my scary mom voice, inviting a softer tone into our house. I've worked really hard to breathe, to look at the whole picture, to really focus on Caitlin and what she may need from me.
But not yesterday. Yesterday I created a disaster of my own doing.
Waking up to rain wasn't as bad as it should have been. California needs rain and snow so bad, but I knew every single person in my Facebook feed that is from California would be praising the rain. I knew I would be the only person not. I only like the rain if I can stay inside with a book or a season of really great TV. When I have to drop off kids at school and pick up kids and shuttle to dance and go to the grocery store, I hate the rain. I even went on a rant today while I was talking to my mom about "Rain Days". When it snows people get snow days, so why can't Californians get rain days? Safer roads, kids don't have to sit in class in wet clothes, moms like me don't have to turn into complete and total assholes because they don't want to go out in the rain.
What should have happened yesterday, was that I should have woken up with my first alarm, I should have gotten up showered. I should have made sure there were enough left over cinnamon rolls to go around. I should have made Caitlin's lunch first, instead of remembering it when I was searching for umbrellas. I should have not let something like a little rain put me in such a foul mood.
But it did. And when we finally left the house with 7 minutes before the final bell to spare, I was already pissed. It was pouring. As we got to school the cars were backed up, and every single one was dropping off their kids at the curb. Except for me. Because my kids doesn't want to go to school, let alone walk by herself to class. And that made me so incredibly angry.
I'm not saying that this was honorable or right. I'm not saying that it was justified. Because it's not. My child still wants me to walk her to class. I have a child that I can walk to class. My child and I can physically walk to class. Trust me this all ran through my head all day, as I relived those last moments of drop off.
I begged her to let me drop her at the curb. Tears. I asked her why I couldn't, and was I going to have to always walk her to class. More tears. I complained about how wet we were getting, how much easier it would have been to drop off only her, how the rain was such a drag. I complained, me, not my six year old. Not my four year old.
Then as I got ready to walk her to class, she spotted her class walking from the cafeteria and completely lost it. And when I asked her why, she couldn't answer me. Then things got worse. Because I just couldn't. I just couldn't have another morning like this, I got down on her level and used "tough love". Which was a lot tougher than I intended. Because I was wet, because it was raining, because I was tired, because I still have no idea why mornings have to be so damn bad, rain or shine.
Then when she finally said that she wanted me to walk her to class, I looked up to see her teacher standing behind her. Her teacher had witnessed the entire ugly scene. And then I really felt like a horrible mother. A total and complete asshole all before eight thirty in the morning.
I walked back to the car with Mac, trying not to cry. Trying not to break down. Why on earth did I let this ruin what could have been an average morning? Because of some rain. Because I hated the idea of going out in the rain?
My mom made disaster set the tone for the entire day.
I still took Mac to dance in the rain, and then to Walgreen's in the rain, only to discover that we needed chicken and string cheese and other things that required a trip to the grocery store. I had envisioned big plans for today, lots of writing, on my blog, on other things. None of those happened. I had emails to send for school parties and girl scouts and sponsors, and none of those happened either. Because I sat, in guilt and grief. Because I kept replaying the ugly scene in my head. All because of a little rain.
I reached for the phone. To tell my bestie that I was a horrible and horrendous excuse for a mother. I told her my story, with great exaggeration, with great emotion, and she laughed because I was painting an outlandish picture of my life. I confessed that I feel like after so many years of giving Caitlin so much of me, I feel like I have nothing left some days. I feel like this season of motherhood is leaving me more confused and anxious than any other. She reassured me that I will always have something to give, even if I don't feel like it's enough. Then as we got off the phone she said "You are not a horrible mother, you are human". I guess that's why they give us human babies, and not gorillas, although we both agreed that on some days gorillas may be easier.
Yesterday was a day spent in my head. With my own thoughts. When I had a to-do list a mile long, I sat and stewed. Then my little one at home asked to watch a movie in my lap. A sign that even when you feel you are so alone you are not. And that is exactly what I needed. A few hours watching Wreck It Ralph, with my small one in my lap, trying to redeem a little bit of this very gray day.
By pick up the rain had let up enough that it was just a light mist. Light enough to leave our umbrellas closed. Caitlin met me with a smile, as if all of the rain had washed away the ugly. Walking though the light mist we talked and giggled and made our way to the grocery store. Then dinner, then homework, and then this. Writing it all out. Exhaling at the keyboard, with a completely different mind set, with completely different emotions.
Yesterday was a mom made disaster. Complete with a downpour of guilt, emotional wind gusts, and some minor damage to mom ego. But tomorrow is another day, and even if it's raining, there are far worse things than we socks and broken umbrellas. I can see that now.