I lost it yesterday.
Standing next to my youngest in a crowded line, I lost the last of my calm.
It was barely there, anyway. In fact, I think my calm has been fading away quickly for some time now. I'm more aggitated than I've ever been. My temper is on a short fuse and it keeps getting lit. I blow, and blow - silently willing the flame to extinguish. You're not that woman, Rachelle. You are a loving mom. You enjoy having fun with your kids. He's just a kid, let him be. Who cares if that child-free one over there is scowling? I doubt they remember being a kid, or being a parent to a kid. You don't want to be free if it means missing one moment of each of your blessings' growing up. And away. Independent. Seeking outsiders for amusement. Instead of you.
I lost my calm. As he bounced and jiggled and gyrated. Hummed a tune in his head while pursing his lips in a smooch and furrowing his brows in concentration. Getting right jiggy with it (except these kids don't do jiggy, they don't even understand the reference). "Let me see," he exclaimed while simultaneously cracking his head on the hot bowl of soup in my hand in mid jump, sending scalding droplets out onto my bare arm and, luckily, only onto the tips of his curly hair. I snapped. "I can't pick you up!" I hollered it - too loud to be dignified and, coupled with the yank I gave his arm, too cold to be motherly.
I felt the heat of a flush rise on my neck. Eyes cast down, I refused to look at anyone who might be nearby. The piercing eyes they darted toward me burned worse than the soup that hit my arms (even though I didn't see them).
Blow, breathe, blow harder. Extinguish.
He rubbed his head, smarting from the good clunk it'd received. He allowed himself to be led away from the line. I tugged him to a vantage point so he could see the grill. And I held back tears. Of frustration. Of apology. Of regret.
I lost my calm.