Photo by Rachel Hadiashar
Angie, a sweet high school friend, shares her story of an after school-to-evening day in the life with her two kiddos. What I remember most about Angie from back in the day was her infectious sense of humor, and the zaniest funny faces she'd make walking down the hall between classes (for an example, see her son, photo below). Teacher and single mom, Angie writes from the heart about a random Monday. I love the real-ness and how Angie brings awareness to all the little moments of a day that make our lives...Lots of love, Angie and thanks for inspiring us to celebrate our moments, big & small, hard & easy as all part of the parenting journey.
I teach all day, they learn. That is all of our jobs; meaning, we all work full time.
After school is always hectic.
My well behaved children at school let loose once they get home. I am cleaning breakfast dishes and scattering the piles of simply “stuff” from the day before while trying to make dinner and get the ball rolling for the evenings routine, or sometimes, lack there of.
I raise them predominantly by myself. Their father lives an hour and a half away and they see him every other weekend...but that is a different story. As I race the clock to attend to the tasks at hand, Elias rushes in, “I came out of your vagine-is?” I promptly tell him no and show him my c-section scar. I’d prefer at this point that he assumes all babies come from a mama’s belly.
Trust me, it is better this way. Otherwise he would wander the world questioning the great vagina and who came out of who and well, I am not ready for that!!..... Right or wrong.
We eat, clean up, I fold laundry and then prepare the next load since they basically rolled in the mud after school. Was I moderately perturbed with the extra load of laundry? Sure. I’d be lying if I said I was not, and I also made a point to let both children know that I would have preferred to have one less load this evening. Alas, I smiled, and got on with it. Moments later Charlotte wanted to try some nail polish trick she saw on you-tube. I obliged and it was basically one of those "pinterest fails” kind of messes, but we laughed and I tenderly removed the shit-ton of goop I left on her fingers and we went with a plain blue polish application.
Homework was done, sweeping accomplished, and the living room disaster remained. We settled into a relaxing mode and all was balanced and well. Then it was time to brush teeth. Someone looked at someone wrong, someone bumped something, someone was gross, someone smelled funny, the boy pushes the girl, she smashes into a picture frame. Broken glass on the floor.
Second one in a month or so. Expensive? No and not the point.
I throw a tantrum and I quickly become aware that it is that bigger lingering need to find order to the chaos that is infinitely us. This happens a lot when big mama gets stressed. Moms and dads know exactly what this naughty behavior looks like. For me, my sailor-esque mouth gets the best of me. Recently I told Charlotte, with Elias close at hand, “a lady doesn’t burp, fart, or use foul language.” They heartily laughed at the irony that is, well, me. I behave badly. Something all parents hate to do, yet I do not ultimately choose to apologize for it….yet.
We have a sit down after ill spoken words and a couple of tears and come up with what needs to be done. The tension not quite released, nor the guilt and “shame on you” kind of feeling we all were feeling for our own deeds. Then a low guttural growl.
My fifteen year old cat had stepped out this evening after a winter full of hibernating on my bed. We all jump up and got to the front door where the noise is coming from. I assume that fat kitty is chilly with the evening breeze and his ten minutes or so had exhausted him.
I flip the light switch and there is this teenage black cat, which looks exactly like mine, but younger, with a teeny patch of white on its neck. Immediately, the three of us are cooing and tsk-ing with adoration at the pretty little kitty on the porch (mind you, my poor ol' cat is most definitely fuming at our betrayal by now) but we just watch.
Slowly, stealthily in our bare feet, we make our way out the door to pet the sleek little minx. Charlotte gets the kitty food, Elias some water, and I continue to croon. We sit together for mere minutes, in silence, watching this stray cat. I break the connection since it is now past bedtime.
I snuggle them in, lay out my smooches and remind them that tomorrow we will try a little harder to work as a team.
Parenting truly is not perfect, neither are families, and neither are the very big or very small moments. But they are OUR moments.
From the Heart parenting stories feature real families, real struggles, real wisdom.
Like a family portrait or trophy, the stories highlight the beauty & strength that is your family.
Be proud of who you are. Tell your story. Do you have a family story you'd like to share?
Contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Hi friends, I write from the heart to tell my life story, and the story of those in my neighborhood called life. Research shows that our children's emotional & mental health is contingent upon us parents being able to tell our life story, or "coherent narrative." This is my coherent narrative, my life story in the making, with some of what I love in life too. My goal is to share my life in a way that is real, uplifting & positive- sometimes serious, sometimes fun. In my practice, I inspire parents to empowerment through reclaiming our life stories and learning respectful discipline. My work is my offering to our children- our future. Wishing you all a happy family!