Friday, December 02, 2011

At the End of the Day

Some days are better than others. On those days I can ignore the eye rolling. I can shrug off the attitude, turn a blind eye to the piles and the mess that seems to follow them wherever they go and ignore that they haven't done the things that I have asked them to do at least three times already that day. On those days I can keep my voice calm and answer back with kind words and be the kind of parent that I always wished I had when I was in the same place where they are. I can offer them solutions to problems or work through situations with the voice of reason or experience.

Some days I don't see them very often. I go about my day, and they go about their day and our paths don't cross much. They might have rehearsals or projects or homework or maybe they stayed up until 4am doing whatever teenagers do until 4am and are exhausted and came home and went to bed after dinner.  Or it might be a weekend and they were up until who knows when and then decided to sleep until 4pm. These kinds of days are weird for me. They are quiet and calm and I get a glimpse of what life is going to be like in a few short years when they aren't here anymore. I try not to dwell too much on this fact, but I do realize that the time is coming up far quicker than I would like to think about.

Then there are the other kinds of days. The days where they push every button I have, and I'm not in a place to deal with it. I might have had a bad day at work, I might be caught in a "this is all to overwhelming and I want my old life back even if I felt miserable all the time" funk, or I might just be exhausted and not up to the challenge of a surly teen. Whatever the reason, they bring their A game and I'm not ready to play. On those days I am ugly. I raise my voice in anger. I give the same attitude they give me back to them.  I say things I don't mean that I look back on later and know where hurtful and awful. The  kinds of things that I used to go to my room and cry about as a teenager. At the end of these kinds of days I don't even like myself. I can only pray that I don't damage them too much. That they can see past the anger and the hurt, and know under it all, how much I really love them. That somehow, that knowledge will be enough.

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