I was going to write about something holidayesque and cheery today. Something about how much I love the holidays and how hard we work to make sure our children are understanding the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Maybe about how we have made our house look like a candy and present factory by baking and crafting for teachers, neighbors and friends. But instead I write about something much, much darker.
I am writing from a vulnerable place today. A place of defeat and fear. A place of darkness. I am admitting something that is hard to admit. Today, I do not like my son. I do not like the way he threw his back pack at me this morning. I do not like the way he told me I “cook gross food.” Or the way he took his clothes off four times between the time he got dressed and the time we left for preschool (twenty minutes late), or the way he stood in the parking lot, refusing to move. I hated how he clung to my leg until the teacher had to peal him off of me, kicking and screaming. I do not like him today.
His actions are horrible, but the way he makes me feel about myself as a mother is worse. I can think of nothing I have done right today. I cannot remember the countless chapters we have read, or the trips to the park we have made. I do not recall the songs we sang in the car or the trips to the zoo. I only see what I have done wrong. I let him watch too much tv. I let him eat too many sweets. I listen to him when he yells. Sometimes, I cuddle him when he cries in his bed when I should let him cry.
And then I remember – I knew this was going to be hard. But I still signed up for it. And then I signed up for it again. And tomorrow, I will give it my all…and the next day and the day after that. Because we are moms. Moms aren’t quitters. Even on the days I do not like him, I will love him. I will love him every day. Every. Single. Day. On the day he gets his first detention, I will not like him – but I will love him. On the day he breaks the heart of some poor unsuspecting girl, I will not like him. I will not like him when I catch him drinking for the first time or when he gets in his first fist fight. I am going to have a lot of days when I do not like him. But I will love him. I will love him hard and passionately and I will pray that this love I have for him makes the days I do not like him far and few between. And those days in between, they will be the days that make is worth it.