It’s been that kind of day. A couple of freelance opportunities rejected, another couple came back with painful and time-consuming revisions, the doctor found a lump in my breast. I’ve been wading through the thick dreariness of it, doing laundry and sending emails, trying not to think of our bank account hovering just above zero or the radiology appointment for next week.
I must have had a subconscious sense of accomplishment for keeping it all together, because when Shriekeuse did a faceplant off the swings after school today, then proceeded to howl and moan and rend garments in her extreme agony, I got impatient. Very impatient. After many, many minutes of the proper motherly and affectionate ministrations, yet no discernible abatement of wailing and tears, I snapped: “Nothing’s broken! Not even a scrape! Calm down already!”
Not that I myself wouldn’t be disgruntled at the nasty shock of a thudding faceful of dirt. Why hold the self-pity against her, really? What six-year-old isn’t entitled to the occasional woe-is-me moment, extended though it may be? And, if we can indulge this speculative mood a minute more, who’s to say she isn’t merely expressing a more generalized anxiety or grief? Her school environment hasn’t been exactly a warm and nurturing one, her Dad and I have been stressed about economics and doubtless a little snippier lately as a result, and it wouldn’t be surprising if she picked up on the new worry I’m probably radiating today in spite of myself.
I need to work on minimizing my ripples in the family pond – at least the ones caused by stress and other demons – and be more accepting of those that other family members helplessly create. Especially those of my children. I guess I started this blog as a way to process my thoughts about the convergence of work and family, and I’m realizing it’s also the perfect medium in which to challenge myself to do better, and hold myself to the standards I set.