It has been a long day, and from the moment they got home from school, it was a constant ebb and flow of playing together and nearly killing each other. I had tried talking, reasoning, threatening and bribing, none successful.
By the time the moon was in the sky, my mood was low. I was tired, emotionally, physically. I was trying to get through a was load of work, stressing about things that still needed to be done. And then Ben gave a blood curdling scream. As I ran into the bathroom Emma was in the process of throwing a bucket of water at Ben.
He was screeching that Emma had pulled his willy sore. And I lost it. I screamed STOP! JUST STOP! DID YOU PULL HIS WILLY? As I was screeching I knew I sounded insane. At a different time, in a different situation, I'd be giggling about the things parents find themselves saying. But I was out of control.
Emma just looked. Ben just looked. Mark just looked. I walked out, not wanting to do any more damage.
A little while later I went to Emma. I asked what she was watching and in her usual cheery voice she answered 'Paw Patrol'.
"I'm sorry Emma."
"For shouting like that. It's not an excuse but I'm tired and I don't feel great. But it's still not okay that I lost my temper."
"It's ok mommy. I always love you. No matter what. Wanna watch 'Paw Patrol' with me?"
In an instant I learnt about forgiveness, unconditional love and the power of saying sorry.
As an aside, today a friend of a friend said goodbye to her little boy. He had fought a brave battle against cancer, but today he closed his eyes for the last time. I cannot even begin to comprehend what his family is going through. I don't know how you say goodbye to your child, your baby. I have no idea how you begin again, how you wake up the next day. And the day after that.
What I do know is the next time I want to rant and rave like a woman possessed, I need to remind myself that I am blessed, and nothing, absolutely nothing, is ever so bad that I need to behave the way I did.