Remember that phrase– “No vacation goes unpunished?” What? I’m pretty certain that’s how the saying goes. See, last weekend hubby and I went away for our first vacation alone since my eldest daughter was a baby. The one in HIGH SCHOOL. It’s funny; up until this point, we always felt too guilty, too busy, too poor to justify leaving. This time…? Couldn’t leave fast enough. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was a little teary about the whole thing, until the little one called me the “meanest mom in the whole world” and told me he would be glad when I was gone, GLAD!
Okee dokee, then.
Clearly I wasn’t the only one who needed a break or so it would seem. I flew to Portland with a clear conscience and enjoyed myself thoroughly. (who wouldn’t in a city that invented the BACON MAPLE DONUT? Freaking genius.) We had a great time and returned home refreshed, full of optimism and just in time for all hell to break loose.
Little one was mad. M!A!D! How dare we (and by that, he meant, apparently, me. Dad can do whatever the heck he likes.) fail to do his bidding for even a second?
How dare we abandon the children once every 14 years for the selfish, selfish purpose of celebrating 15 years of marriage? Bad mom. Bad!
That evening anything I asked him to do resulted in tears, screaming and general gnashing of teeth. Doors were slammed. Chairs were kicked. Books were thrown…. and the little one was grumpy, too. (badum CHING! Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week!) Because nothing says, “I love you and I missed you” like a full-blown temper tantrum.
I try to be understanding, really I do. It is hard for adults to express themselves after all, never mind an extremely emotional and volatile 7 year-old. But just once, couldn’t he do so in a manner which is respectful, honest and above all, quiet?
Yeah. I don’t think so, either.
It’s okay. I know that he’ll get there eventually. My hope is that those traits which are causing trouble right now evolve and serve him well as an adult. That the insanely frustrating bullheadedness matures into a strong sense of self. That the obstinacy softens to a clear understanding of his desires. That the emotional outbursts lead to a passion for the things he loves. And when it does, when all that energy crystalizes and joins with a more mature understanding of and commitment to the people who share his life, I know how I am going to celebrate;
…bacon maple donut.