A Bumpy Road

August 1, 2016

It had been a long day.  Trying to parent alone while working is tough.  The girls started fighting in the backseat of the car while I was trying to work out some ideas in my head. Of course I wanted two tired, little girls to be quiet while I thought.  Instead the yelling quickly escalated to fighting each other with elbows and jabs.  Then one started crying and the other started screaming.  Driving in Atlanta traffic, I lost it and yelled back at them to be quiet.  I hate it when I discipline the kids for screaming by screaming.  It’s so much harder to parent without fear.  It requires a higher level of emotional awareness and energy, and I was on empty.

Once we got home, I was seething from two girls annoying me plus my reaction to the two girls.  I just wanted to stay in a negative place and think about how difficult it is being a single parent and what a bad hand I got.   Then when we got home, R said “I’m sorry,  I was frustrated with M, but I shouldn’t have yelled or hit her.”  She took the high road.  Instantly, she had released me from my negativity with those words.  A moment earlier I had thought my kids are brats and parenting is so hard only for that thought to be instantly replaced with my child is more emotionally mature than I am.  I’m still pouting, and she’s ready for forgiveness and to move on.  It amazes me how quickly they can transition their emotions.

A few minutes later, we were jumping on the trampoline holding hands and laughing, and it dawned on me that I had just experienced a journey of emotion within such a short time frame, guided by my child.  To move from emotion to emotion, it was critical that I let the previous emotion go.  She helped me with that.  As an adult, we want to hide or hold on to those emotions.  We have a bad day or a good day.  It’s one emotion for the day, maybe longer.  Not three emotions in an hour.  It was a reminder to embrace the ride.  To turn up the music and roll down the window and enjoy the bumpy road.

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