Monday was a lazy day for us. Naaman was at work and it was just me and the boys. We spent the morning in our pajamas while I let them play in front of me. I’ll admit that I have been a bit grumpy the past few days. So I sat and fiddled with my phone the whole time they played. I just wasn’t in the mood to play along with them.
We finally got ready and went to the park but the boys asked to leave because it was too hot. We went to my parents house to let their dogs out while they were away. Finally it was nap time. Three glorious hours to do whatever the hell I wanted. I had been waiting for it all morning.
When they got up I was still feeling blah. I took them out in the yard and they played amongst themselves. Every once in awhile Landon would ask me to do something but I wasn’t paying attention. I only felt like being alone. So I played on my phone some more while they pretended to be camping.
After we got home and had dinner I was sitting on the couch. Yep, you guessed it. Looking at my phone again waiting for the day to be over so I could put them to bed and have time to myself. Landon came up to me and tugged at my shirt.
“Mommy, will you come play with us?”
I looked up from my phone and without even thinking I said, “No, not right now.”
Suddenly he started bawling. He beat his hands on the ottoman and said, “I just want you to play with me!”
Then it hit me like a brick in the face. What was I thinking? How could I do that to my son? I suddenly realized that I hadn’t been present at all that day. But the kicker was – he already knew it. He felt that he wasn’t important. It was like a punch to the gut.
Sure, every parent has a bad day. One where they just don’t feel up to the task of being a great role model. But it’s still no excuse to act like they are an inconvenience.
What I did – or what I didn’t do – it meant something to him. I failed my sons.
I spent that night thinking about what I could have done differently. What I could have said differently. I realized how much my actions and words affect my sons on a daily basis. And I knew I needed to try harder.
I told Naaman I thought it was important for me to spend some one-on-one time with each boy. I think sometimes my boys don’t get the undivided attention they need to know how important they are to me. So I decided to take Landon out for a mommy/son date the next night since my “no” had really hit him hard.
When I picked Landon up from preschool I told him we were going someplace special, just he and I. You should have seen his eyes light up! He kept asking where we were going. After dinner I put him in the car and he was smiling so big.
We went to a new frozen yogurt bar. I told him he could get whatever he wanted. He picked chocolate mint with gummy bears and m&m’s piled on top. I picked white chocolate with sprinkles and raspberry truffles.
We sat at a kiddie-sized table and I watched him dig his fingers into the chocolate to retrieve his little gummy bears. Instead of freaking out over the mess I just enjoyed wiping drips off his cute little face with a napkin. How I could ignore this precious soul is beyond me.
I asked him questions about his day and he said his usual, “good.” But after a few minutes he opened up and told me that school is hard for him. That sometimes he can’t do the lessons that the teachers want him to do. This is good information I need to know. I told him to keep trying. And it’s okay if it takes some time. Everybody learns at a different pace.
Next we went to the dollar store and I told him he could pick whatever toy he wanted. He was in heaven. It took him at least ten minutes to decide on spiderman binoculars. And then, he surprised me.
“Mom, we have to pick something out for Brigs,” he said searching the aisle for his brother’s perfect gift. He picked a blue car because he said Brigham likes blue. Oh, this child. Be still my heart.
I told Landon how much I love him and how special he is to me, over and over. I know he doesn’t understand when mommy has a bad day. I know I have to make it a point to be more present in their lives. I can be in the same room with them and not really be there, you know what I mean?
I messed up but don’t we all? I’m just so thankful for the second chances that come with each new day. And I am so thankful for the forgiving hearts of my children.
I’ll try harder, my loves.