Squishy was in a great mood this morning, and couldn’t wait to leave for adventure school. He woke up with a smile on his face. The dreams last night were fun and exciting, not scary at all. In fact, our morning routine was incredibly smooth. He even got into the car without any negotiations. For 20 minutes we drove, companionably singing his favorite songs and talking about today’s activities to come. When I pulled into my parking space he even shouted, “let’s rock and roll!” So I was completely blindsided with what happened as soon as he set his feet on the asphalt.
I don’t want to talk!!!I WANT ALONE TIME!!!
He walked around the car and saw his friends, that had also just arrived. “I don’t want to talk!!! I WANT SOME ALONE TIME!!!” I was taken aback. Thinking he was just being rude and mean, which is not ok. I reprimanded him and brushed it off as we made our way down the hill. I look back at that moment now and wonder, what if…What if I had taken him to a different section of the river, away from his friends? What if we had just gone home? What if??? I just don’t know, but I should have listened.
The day is a blur of meltdowns after that. Of me trying to salvage our outing. Nature, usually my go to defusing method, was not working at all. Then I saw him crawl under a bush. Pushing through the thick outer foliage, to sit under the protective canopy, and I was reminded “I want some alone time”. And the mom guilt punched me in the gut. I don’t know why he was feeling a need to isolate himself, but it was a need that was tearing through him. How often do I remind him to listen to MY words? How often do I show him the same courtesy?
As I sat in the car with the air conditioner blasting away the heavy emotions of the morning, I scrolled through the few pictures I had managed to snap. In the pictures, I see the twinkling sparkle that always accompanies his smirky smile. I see the love he has for the friends that he has chosen for himself. I see the immense wonder that surrounds him when he is discovering something new. And I see the pride when he makes it up to the next branch on his climbing tree. Those are the memories that I am going to hold in my heart today. Because we all have bad days, even if we are young, and even if we are moms.