Ben was ornery and clingy. I was ornery and distant. We both had to be around each other longer and the to do list had thing that just needed to be done. The setting was just right for the perfect storm.
It hit at about 7 that evening. The kitchen was a mess, there was flour on the floor that needed to be vacuumed up, and every room in the house was in a state of disarray. Every. Room. Laundry, cushions, toys, papers, crayons... everything everywhere. There was no sanctuary. No place of order to hide and calm down. Just chaos and a child whining and clinging to my leg constantly. Constantly. I had to pry him off to use the bathroom. Noise noise noise noise noise!
My patience had been used to the very last drop. There was no reserve, no bottom of the barrel to scrape. It was just gone.
I handed Ben off to David who was equally tired and spent and began trying to find some order in the chaos. 2.5 seconds later Ben was at my skirt whining to be carried and I just could. not. do it. I exploded. I let out a primal yell all my own, stomped on the floor, and had the grown up equivalent of a two year old fit. The reaction it caused would have made James P Sullivan of Monsters Inc. fame proud.
Ben ran scared to David for comfort and I felt like a monster. A monster of a mother who lost her cool in a big way. A monster who scared her child rather than comforted. A monster who stomped and yelled and caused disarray.
David quickly took Ben out for a walk and I rampaged around the house throwing things to get them in order, cleaning like a mad woman and working very hard to calm down. Bewildered by my own reaction and scared of myself. By the time they got back I was able to hold it together and apologize for my behavior. I felt ashamed and a little lost.
Now for today.
Today was better. Today I decided that the to do list could go and to do itself. The important things got done and the never ending list of other things did not even get thought of. I went for a walk with my son this morning and let him take the lead. We ended up at a nearby park and he decided when to go home. We had lunch on the deck with David and we all laughed with each other. Ben went down for a nap and I went to the temple.
At the temple I regained some perspective and asked for my burden to be lightened. There was nothing to take away, but God could bless me not to feel it so heavily upon my back. I listened. I asked questions in my heart and received direction and answers. I came to understand more about the blessings and the power of God in my life. About the Priesthood. About men and women and why we work well together and why we have to work together. I asked to be a better mother to my son. I left with peace in my heart.
It was hot when I got home. Hot enough to put Ben in his swimsuit and put a pair of shorts on myself. I threw propriety, caution, and my own inhibitions to the wind and Ben and I got soaked in the sprinklers together. We played outside all the rest of the afternoon and walked around the neighborhood in wet clothes, sunscreen, and the best big floppy hat in the entire world. I felt like a kid again. My body remembered the feel of the never-ending Summer days spent outside, playing in the water, listening to the wind in the trees, and feeling the sun warm my wet skin. Ben's belly laughs as he took control of the water and sprayed me down made it even more magical. I showed Ben how to leave wet swimsuit marks on the porch which was amazing to him.
I do have an inner child and for the first time in a long time it has been let out to see the sun. It was free. I was my child's best friend today and we both enjoyed our extended time together immensely. There was no whining, no patience drained. In fact it was hardly even tapped into. Ben chatted away happily at dinner time and the whining of yesterday was replaced by laughter today.
Today was a gift. I hope tomorrow will be one too.