This week has been even tougher for me than last. Not only am I still working on an article but I’m also still pulling shifts at the local homeless shelter in the evening, all while spending all day with my kids. As a result, I’ve been a bit cranky.
Yesterday, my nearly four-year-old told me, out of the blue, “Mama is nicer than you.” “Mama’s nicer than me?” I asked. B answered in the affirmative. There was nothing I could say, except sorry. I didn’t at the time, I just let his comment sink in, but now I want to tell my two little boys that I apologize for being such a jerk this week. By this time next week, the article will be out and the homeless gig will be over. Things will be easier, then, and hopefully I’ll be more pleasant to be around.
It’s been a long, long, long week. I’ve been getting up before five every day to work on an article for a local weekly and picked up an extra shift at the homeless shelter where I work part-time. Add in the daytime with the kids and by this point, actually by yesterday, I could barely function. Of course, my nearly four-year-old son picked then to disobey everything I told him. For instance, I took both boys over to a Greek amphitheater with a giant grass field where a sprinkler was activated. B had a great time running through the water but when it came time to leave I intended to exit on the other side, but B ignored my instructions and mounted the large steps where he waited for me at the top. I pleaded for him to come back down but he refused, so I was forced to carry the baby in one arm, the stroller with the other, and struggle to climb. By the time I reached him, I wanted to scream, then cry.
Later, when we got back in the car and I could pause for a moment all I wanted was to be kid-free for a little while, just so I could catch my breath. At that point, I reflected on a passage I’d read from a book–called Let the Great World Spin–earlier in the week that captured how I felt: “There are times–though not often–when I wish that I didn’t have children at all. Just make them disappear, God, for an hour or so, no more, just an hour, that’s all. Just do it quickly and out of my sight, have them go up in a puff of smoke and be gone, then bring them back fully intact, as if they didn’t leave at all.”