Today I had a temper tantrum. I became impatient with all of the little things, like one child’s barely worn clean clothes thrown in the laundry anyway, another child’s barely worn clean clothes found on the floor, and a waist belt that broke as I was walking out the door. I didn’t kick and scream, but I cursed and sulked. Then I took a little self-imposed time out.
When these thankfully short-lived outbursts occur I immediately regret that I am teaching my children that it’s OK to repudiate the very coping skills I work so hard to inculcate in them. It’s so easy to tell them, “breathe…, in through your nose, out through your mouth,” and then forget it when it’s my turn to calm myself.
And then, almost every time, I emerge from time out to find things like this:
A poetry writing contest broke out during my hiatus.
One entry even included a drawing.
My pout somehow draws out my kids’ creative side. And my heart melts.
Is it possible that a small loss of control on my part causes them to build a little more independence, gain a bit more maturity, and delve a little deeper into their own survival ability? If not often done, could that actually be a good thing, or at least an offset? Could I reasonably console myself that they do learn a lesson from my tinged halo: that nobody’s perfect, but that as long as apologies are made, forgiveness granted, and recovery and rejuvenation follow, then it’s really OK?
Copyright 2013 Sharon Rayner