Tuesday, September 28, 2010


There are many things I'd like to change about the way I raised my kids.
I'd like to take back the time I smacked Wendy for doing something to her brother in the store. My sister bought her a Pink Panther mug that today serves as a reminder that I was quick to judge and punish.

I'd like to take back the time I attacked Johnson with a wooden spoon. Lord only knows what he did to drive me to the point of madness. I stopped myself before I really got going, but I'll never forget the look on his face.

I'd like to take back the time I told two little kids who were excited about Christmas coming that Santa had had a heart attack and wouldn't be coming that year. God God, was I the devil incarnate or what?

And I'd like to take back the many times when I was in a hurry to go somewhere or do something and I rushed the kids into the car, without giving a thought to their needs or desires. Forget tying shoes at a snail's pace. Forget looking for worms on the way to the car. Forget splashing in a puddle or reading the last page of a good book or grabbing a snack. Get in the car NOW, because I SAID SO.

You'd think if I feel so bad about hurrying my kids along, that I'd have more patience with my father moves slower than sap dripping out of a tree on a cold day.

We were supposed to be somewhere half an hour ago. There is a lady standing on the sidewalk waiting for us. Dad drove by me in his cart and I haven't seen him since. I did go back to check on him. He was sitting on the toilet doing something with his checkbook. I decided to back away and let him alone. I couldn't get into the bathroom to help him up, even if I wanted to. The cart is blocking the doorway. I feel a little frazzled. I feel like screaming. But what's the point?

I have got to quit being in a hurry. That's all there is to it. I think I'll go find a puddle to play in while I wait.

Today's wish for you is patience,
Merry ME


Laura Paine Carr said...

"Take a deep breath," I say to my massage clients. Often I am called upon to take my own advice.

I am right there with you, locked out of the bathroom, imagining a puddle (outside in the fresh air!) for you to examine and toss little pebbles into the center.

Thank you for some thoughtful moments this morning. (I am remembering putting a wooden spoon on the dashboard of my car as a threat to my youngest daughter, who used to whine and cry no matter how short or long the ride. "Maaa-om!" she'd say, and quit with the racket. Yes, I regret using my big-all-powerful rank to get her to pipe down.... NOW, I want you to list the same amount of fabulous things you did as a parent... )


Tracey Catarozoli a.k.a Sally Sunshine said...

Well Mary -- I will say to you the same thing I say to my Momma whenever she feels like you did in this post. I tell her "that I am (your kids are) as fantastic as I am/they are precisely because of the mother you were". The End.

Pamela Jones said...

I think your regrets give clarity to the reason we are rewarded with grandchildren. It is so much easier to take as long as you need when you are the grand! I channel the regrets for impatience all the time into the delight of being in the process with the little ones. I think my grandma did that for me, too!

Paradox said...

OMG. With an 8 year old and so little time this semester, I find myself yelling and threatening way too often. The other day, after a fight over the amount of time it took to get ready...as I dropped her off at school...as she got out of the car....as I watched her crossing the street carrying her heavy backpack half open....I suddenly saw this beautiful girl with a sad little face. I wanted so badly to jump out of the car and bring her back home for a day full of hugs and love. I balled my eyes out all the way to work and swore I would never drop her off again unless she absolutely knew how wonderful I think she is and how I love her to the moon and back.
Patience seems so impossible some times...

Susan said...

lovin' your writing!!!