Perhaps I wouldn't have learned what I did if this week hadn't been so crappy. Perhaps said crappy week happened so that I could grow from this week and make the rest of the summer better. Maybe. Or maybe it was just a crappy week.
Either way. I learned.
-I learned that you can take your kids to their great grandparents grave and it will give your mother much happiness. Not only that but apparently kids like cemetaries almost as much as they like parks. Who knew?
-I learned that you can yell so much that you give yourself a migraine. Literally. You will feel both ashamed and punished at the same time. And when you apologize to your children for your horrible behavior they forgive you. And defend you. And it makes you feel worse. And when you cry and tell them that you behaved like a rotten person they will cry with you and tell you that you are the best. And you feel more undeserving of love than you ever have.
-I learned that it doesn't matter how cold the water is a stream must be played in.
-I learned that when your mother is trying to be helpful it can actually be really hurtful. Sometimes a mother just needs to keep her thoughts to herself. I realize that I am not an exception to this rule. I know that I, too, need to keep my mouth shut a lot more than I do. I need to think more carefully not only about what comes out of my mouth, but the thoughts in my head as well. Words and thoughts need to be monitored. I learned what not to say when my kids are older and have children of their own. Things like, "You kids were so easy!" as a mother is struggling to handle her own children is not helpful. I learned it is really easy to forgive your own mother when you remember she is your best friend and loves you very much.
-I learned that wearing all pink does not mean that you won't play with sticks and stones and get soaked in the stream. Thankfully.
- I learned that some people (well okay, most people) don't like to pose for a million pictures and would rather just run around the playground. Some people play along better than others.
It was a crazy week. I hope I don't ever have a repeat of this week. I hope I can take the lessons I've learned and hang onto them so that I can enjoy this summer with my kids. I hope that when my kids look back on this summer (and their childhood in general) they will remember all the fun we had and forget about what a crazy lunatic I could be sometimes. I hope I can stop thinking about how hard parenting is and focus instead of how fun and what a blessing it is.
I've learned. Now I hope I remember what I've learned.