Out On A Low Note by Peggy Bogaard-Lapp
I made my daughter cry today, on the last day of 2013 when we should be in a more celebratory mood. Instead, I yelled at her for making a mess on the floor that I had just just! vacuumed. She didn’t even look at me. She got up, gathered her things, and went to her room. And quietly shut the door. I, on the other hand, had been much more vocal, and actually threw something across the room in my anger. Not a stellar day for me. Then I sat in the big chair in the living room, the one where she and I often cuddle, and like all grouches do, I wallowed in my anger. It was her fault I was mad. Why must my efforts of housecleaning be wiped out so quickly? Wah, wah wah. Then I realized that she was in her room, crying. Crying because mommy was mad about some scraps of trash on the carpet. For Goodness’ sake, the vacuum was five feet away, still available to clean up the mess. My daughter was ten feet away, and feeling sad. Here I was, again, letting my temper rise too high and feeling completely awful about it, and seeing how my impatient behavior is affecting her.
The past months have been filled with these kind of days for me. I am cranky, impatient, and tired. I don’t like the person I become when my temper flares. I recently read another blogger mom post The Bully Too Close To Home at handsfreemama.com and thought I had insight to that “eye opening” experience. Turns out, I needed one of my own.
I went to her door, opened it, and immediately apologized for everything. I told her that I should not make such a big deal out of a little mess. And that I loved her. She put her face to my chest and gave me a tender hug, as if it were me who needed it more than she. My beautiful daughter hugged me and deflated all the anger I held. I let go of everything, and looked into her eyes, wiping a tear from her face. I didn’t mean to make her cry. I don’t want to ever make her cry again. I will do better in 2014. I will do better in the last hours of 2013.