I am almost positive, when I was a teenager, my mother wanted to leave me on a far away street corner like some stray cat. I am almost positive that she, too, stood at the sink full of dishes I could have easily done and muttered under her breath about selfish kids. I am pretty secure in thinking that there were days on her way home from work she almost veered off the road to purposefully land in a ditch, hit her head on the steering wheel and fall into the (best) worst coma only to wake up after I was moved out and grown (ok…maybe that is just me). I am sure of these things mainly because those are the thoughts in my mind on any given day. Wits….meet the end.
I love my children. The Girl has the spirit of a servant. Her heart is so big and so loving it could have only come from God. Her wisdom surpasses her 12 years. The Boy, he’s pretty special too. He’s special from the inside–the place where only few people can see. His love is measured deeply and it is kept locked away in a tiny vault…secure within himself. He protects those he loves as if his life depended on it. Those are my kids. I love them. Lord knows I do, but I swear I wanna drop them off at the nearest fire station with a sign that says “Free & Potty Trained….Please Take One“.
I stood at the sink, washing a billion dirty dishes, complaining under my breath about my children being selfish, argumentative, rude and selfish (yes, I said it twice). I know what you’re thinking. You are saying to yourself one of two things: (1) I totally understand where she is coming from, or (2) That’s her fault. Unfortunately, you may be correct on the latter.
After The Split, I checked out. I began picking my battles sparingly and literally throwing my hands in the air. Argue about washing the dishes? Nope. That would mean they would do a half ass job and I would have to re-wash them anyway. Get in between sibling arguments? No thank you. That would mean I would have to actually listen to both ridiculous sides. Repeat myself 900 times for them to either: (a) pick up their rooms/dirty clothes/wet towels/trash/dinner plates, (b) take a shower, (c) read a book, (d) all of the above? I’m good. Thanks.
I am a mom, so naturally, I do those things anyway. I repeat myself, yell, punish, make them clean…I do those things. But sometimes it gets to be too much to–well–nag. His main concern is expensive shoes. Hers is anything apparel related. Neither one has any concern about real things like starving children or homeless people. Neither one has an interest in how the house is being magically run or how gas suddenly appears in the gas tank or how the dishes end up in the dish drainer ready for use. They. Just. Don’t. Care. So….I don’t either.
I stood at the sink, sloshing sudsy water all over, apologizing to my poor, poor mother. I stood there wanting to lock them in the garage only opening the door to slide in their meals. I stood there, hands submerged in boiling hot water, hating The He for only being responsible for himself. He has a dishwasher. He doesn’t have to listen to arguments or drown out the thundering sound of The Boy running from one end of the house to the other, pretending to be a running back–dipping and dodging. He never has to argue with The Girl (she will make a hell of a lawyer one day if nothing else) about why she can’t go to Rainbow and buy yet another pair of boots (that will end up under the couch no doubt). He doesn’t have that burden. I do. And I stood there, at the sink frustrated, annoyed, guilty, and in need of a break. After the last pot was clean, I stopped The Boy on his 500th run through the kitchen (invisible defenders in tow) and asked if they would like to get out of the house. Starbucks was as good a place as any to get out and gain some perspective.
I spent 25 driving minutes, probably two gallons of gas, and $11 on some peace. I suppose that’s better than a bag of heroin or a clepto-spree (neither of which I have ever participated in, let the record show). It allowed me some breathing room. I guess that’s all I really needed anyway. Some room to breathe, a little perspective and some quality quiet time with The Them. Wits met the end. They shook hands and reluctantly departed. I am pretty sure they will meet again…some day.