A lot of the games i play with my kids end up sounding really dumb once I say them aloud to another person or articulate them -- this will be one of those examples.
Today everyone started off on the wrong foot. Or it's possible that only I did. In any event, it felt like EVERYone was particularly crabby. But when Silas screamed and cried and clung to my leg at drop off (unprecedented), I had a hunch it was because of my icy facade all morning. And when Eden burst into tears more than three times crying, "YOU HURT MY FEELINGS!" I once again had a sense that I was the root of our distress. And yet, awareness or not, the intolerance and impatience persisted, for hours.
Sometimes, when I am in a continually foul mood that I can't shake, we call the woman before us "crabby mama." And when it's all gone on for WAY too long and it must stop, there is sometimes an urgent news flash (the kind that Kermit used to do) to announce that crabby mama, who has been crabbing and pinching all morning, has left town and regular Mama has replaced her. As silly as it sounds, somehow the public announcement really does chase her away.
Today was not a good day.
But the surprising saving grace, once crabby mama had officially been pronounced gone, was that my friend Joan and her family came for dinner. Ben was at a work dinner and I hadn't gone to the grocery store, but I was determined to cook from what I had. Originally I'd planned to run this afternoon because I'm pretty sure that's what I most needed -- endorphins -- but instead, I cooked.
There is something truly life-giving about working with my hands. I feel that when I art journal, when I write a poem, and when I make a meal for people I love. Tonight, channeling myself into a dinner saved all of us. Eden and Silas, once they had the vague sense that I was once again their ally and fan, played in the darkening cold yard for ages while I busily chopped and whisked: Breaded lemon chicken with pasta, skillet carrots with onions and thyme, Ina's celery Parmesan salad, and Pam Boch's Apple cake.
Conversation was full and the kids squealed absolutely happily for hours. Now at 8:08 everyone is asleep, and I, too, am already tucked into bed. Whew. Glad for people to sit at the table with.