It’s not our weekend with the little girls but it is our year to have them for Easter. What that means is that last night we were able to get the remaining Easter shopping done without having to be stealthy, we were able to hide baskets and put jellybeans all over the house to be discovered, and early this morning my husband set-off to pick them up.
I’ve got a thing about holidays. I want them to be magical and memorable and just so. I was irritated that they wouldn’t wake up here. I was irritated that whether or not they’d be showered when they arrived for a very busy Easter Sunday was out of my control. I was irritated that we would likely have to rush them through their basket search and their jellybean collection to get them in their Easter dresses and off to church.
They arrived with unbrushed teeth, untouched homework, untouched spelling words, and having gone to bed late last night. I sometimes panick a little, inside my head…I do a pretty good job of masking it, but freaking out happens from time to time. WHY hadn’t they done their homework (assuming we’d have a busy Easter Sunday planned)??? WHY had they stayed up so late (again…assuming we’d have a busy Easter Sunday planned)??? And…seriously? WHY wouldn’t they have brushed their teeth???
There wasn’t time to fret. Church at ten, lunch with my husband’s family across town at noon, dinner with my family back across town at four, and then home to do homework (grr), practice spelling words (grr), and get our little girls to bed early so they are fresh (and hopefully partially down from their sugar high) for school tomorrow.
I am..umm…I am high-strung. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s also possible that I have some control issues. I’ve told you before that the co-parenting can sometimes have me breathing in a bag. It requires patience, faith, and for me, an enormous amount of letting go. Back in the day, and I’ll be honest…that includes even a year ago, I would have wanted to send an email. About just. About. Everything. I want (need) people to understand where I’m coming from. I want us all to be on the exact same page with our parenting of these remarkable little girls. I want us all to hold the same things dear. Whether it be bed times or what we allow them to watch and/or listen to or the kinds of things we feed them or how we punish them if it becomes necessary. In the beginning I thought long verbose emails explaining our point of view would do the trick. Turns out…those emails? They do not to the trick. They do the opposite of the trick. Which, in turn, makes me CRAZY.
It’s amazing how serious things having to do with your children can feel. Simple things like practicing spelling words and bed times can feel like the MOST. IMPORTANT. THINGS. IN. THE. WORLD. Because all of the things that go into raising children mesh together. And seriously…if it’s important at one household but not at the other…well sh-t, I can easily convince myself that it’s probably the end of the world as we know it.
Letting go is not in my nature. No sir. It’s taken a good amount of time, and a good amount of patience (another thing I’m really not good at), for me to be able to let things go even a little. I have these conversations with myself in which I ask ‘is this important? Seriously. No…SERIOUSLY. Is this important or is it just INCREDIBLY IRRITATING?!’ Usually I’ll decide that while I think it is incredibly important it’s probably, in real life, only incredibly irritating. And thus…I have to decide it’s not worth the battle…and move on.
I’ve also really tried to figure out what things look and feel like for the little girls. I want them to feel like we all get along and that they are so lucky to have FOUR parents who love them more than life itself. That means I don’t get to react in front of them when I hear things that piss me off, or freak me out, or simply make me sad. I have to be positive so they’ll feel like they can continue to talk freely about anything and everything. And so they feel that between their parents, all four of us, things are good.
I knew that the little girls were so looking forward to Easter. We hustled them through baskets, jellybeans, teeth brushing, getting dressed, and soon enough we were headed out to start our busy day. I was stealthy today after all in that I encouraged them to bring the books that the Easter Bunny had brought them along in the car. Reading? CHECK. I also happened to bring math flash cards and they wanted to show off their math skills to their grandparents. Practice math? CHECK. On one of the car rides we ran through spelling words to “get an idea if there would be any tough ones this week.” Spelling? CHECK. And we were able to get home early enough to get homework done, allow the girls to play for a bit, AND get them in bed early. Homework and early bedtime? CHECK.
They were able to eat seven tons of candy, don the most fabulous Easter dresses, sit-in on adult church and hear the most wonderful music, spend time with our families, and I was able to quiet the nagging voice in my head by sneaking in the things I felt needed to get done today. And I’m able to go to bed not conjuring up a ridiculously long email that will fall on deaf ears but enjoying thoughts of a really good day with my little girls. It’s almost a win/win…if I can just let it go.
TODAY: What if letting go of my control issues and my irritation allows me to be a better mom? What if just making sure that the environment we provide is consistent and joyful and peaceful is the very best thing that I can do for my little girls? And what if, in the end, the things I want to change and/or the things that make me crazy just don’t matter a bit? Ooofff…I’ll be honest…that’s hard for me to even type. But nobody said this “what iffing” business would be easy!
PS – If there is no post tomorrow it is likely because I too ate seven tons of candy and I’m quite sure I’ve overdosed on sugar. I’m not sure if that’s possible but right this minute? I’m feeling like it might be. Happy Easter!