Hello, Friday, you beauty! Oh man, has it ever been a long week. Driving the kids to school this morning, passing by cows and fields and barns and all the other everyday things one sees while making your way through the countryside, I said, “Friday! Free at last, free at last!” I felt grateful and did a little car dance.
Morgan, my special little teenager, looked at me with disdain and said, “You’re not free. Now you’ll know what it’s like to be us. On Fridays, you’ve still got a whole day of school. That’s a WHOLE day of patience. You’ll see and then you won’t be happy.”
I spent the morning scribing at my son’s school again today. I sat with the same little boy I worked with yesterday, and I helped read all the questions on the exam he was supposed to complete today. He’s a sweet kid. Yesterday he was very reserved, hardly said an unnecessary word to me all day, and I felt a need to be extra kind. Today, he came prepared to be my friend. He greeted me with a huge smile and started by giving me a protracted story about the pencil he had brought in— his lucky pencil. Five minutes into the story, I said, “We should probably get started. Look everyone has already begun.” He was not deterred. He continued on with the Epic Tale of the Spiderman Pencil for another five minutes. Just be patient, I thought, at least he’s not shaking with anxiety like he was yesterday.
The day continued thus. Hours of whispered thoughts shared with me, little smiles of friendship and all the while my skin was crawling, my patience was worn thin. ANSWER THE QUESTION! I wanted to say, but Good Natalie wagged her prissy little finger at me and said, be kind.
By the time I picked up, Jude for our Mommy-Son lunch date, my patience was completely depleted. So when, true to form, Jude had a little emotional crisis about having to choose the restaurant, I almost lost my cool. These are the moments in life when being able to pray the rosary would come in handy; a repetitive chant of any kind is what I needed to help me get through the wave of fury that was passing over me.
I sang, John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt, quietly to myself as we drove for twenty minutes around town while Jude ran in and checked the noise level of every restaurant before he made his final decision. He doesn’t like to eat when it’s too noisy. F*@K!!!
Why did I allow that little school boy to whisper sweet nothings instead of doing his test? Why allow my anxiety riddled son choose our lunch venue?
It felt right, even when it felt horrid. Patience is not one of my virtues. Honestly, sometimes I have to physically pinch myself to wait out my children’s explanations of anything. It takes so bloody long, and my brain works way too quickly. Very often I stop talking mid-sentence because my thoughts are already bored with themselves. “Finish your sentence!” Mike says, “Mom, you’re doing it again!” Jude says. And I have to use my patience muscle just so I can finish my own sentence. It’s pathetic, I know.
Exercising my weaker qualities is definitely on my to-do list for the next few years: my goal is to be able to tap into a zen-like restraint when I need it. Got to find me a Yogi!
Morgan, in the way that only my Morgan can, predicted the struggles I would have today. I guess in her estimation, spending any second at school requires an infinite amount of patience. For Morgan, Friday’s are not fabulous and free until school is finished.
But the day (the taxing part of it) is done. And here I sit, with my words and a glass of wine (it’s five o’clock somewhere), no interruptions, nobody talking to me. I’m FREE!!! HAPPY FRIDAY, FRIENDS! Cheers.