Do you ever have those mornings where you wake up and open your eyes and you’re already mad at the world? I can go to bed in the best and cheeriest of Mary Poppins moods, but every once in a while I wake up and it’s like I’ve been visited by the Anger Fairy who has sprinkled Mad Dust all up in my face while I slept. Although, If I’m being 100% honest, I wake up this way… a lot. More than I should. You can call it hormones or blame it on the fact that I am not a ‘morning person’, but the truth is I can just be a big grump sometimes- acting like the world owes me bliss. On these blessed mornings, I snap and stomp and sigh so heavily there’s hardly enough oxygen left in the house for anyone else to breathe. I scrub and scour while the family desperately tries to steer clear. Look out, mama’s awake!
Sadly, my kids end up bearing the brunt of these mornings a lot of the time. When patience is thin and there’s a clock ticking and everyone needs to be out the door with shoes on and backpacks packed, things can get… messy. Oftentimes, when the last boy steps out to the bus and I turn around to survey the morning’s damage, I am appalled. How did such chaos and carnage occur within an hour? There are piles of dishes and sticky floors and forgotten homework pages. There are mismatched socks and inside out sweaters and empty cereal boxes everywhere I turn. It’s quite the accomplishment really, the path of sheer & utter destruction. But the mess isn’t really what weighs heaviest on me on those heated mornings. I can try to pretend that is the problem, but it isn’t. What weighs heaviest on me in those quiet moments after the house is empty are the words. The angry words I said in the heat of the moment and in the middle of the mess… they hang in the air and stick to my clothes.
In those moments, I have learned that I have a choice to make. I can keep right on stomping and huffing and cleaning and justifying, or I can own up to my attitude problem, get my booty in the car, and go eat crow. I can go apologize! Sometimes I forget that I can even DO that. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to ask my kids’ forgiveness for my bad attitude. You’d think by now I would have learned that it is just not worth it! But I am a slow learner, and so I drive over to the school and look the office ladies square in the face and tell them I’m there to find my son to tell him I’m sorry for the way I behaved. They smile, like they feel me, and they buzz me in. And without a doubt, as I walk down those halls, I start to feel… lighter. The burden of the morning starts to slough off onto the floor in big chunks. By the time I find the boy I am looking for, I am beaming. I drop down to his eye level, and eat crow. I FEAST on crow. I tell him I’m sorry for being a grump and saying angry things. The forgiveness comes quickly and little arms still wrap tightly around my neck. In that moment, I feel like a new woman. I feel free from the words that got stuck to my clothes. Forgiveness has a way of doing that to a person, doesn’t it? Making you new?
I need to do this more often. I need to do it every time. I need to go out of my way to make things right, because my kids are actually people too. They deserve the apologies, just like anyone else. I am still learning and growing in this, and I am by no means even anywhere near perfect, but I hope that my kids can at least see me trying. I hope that they are learning from me that sometimes, crow is the most AMAZING thing on the menu.