Yesterday was so overwhelming. It started out with a daycare drop-off during a downpour, followed by a walk into work during which my umbrella blew inside out, so by the time I actually made it to my office I was completely drenched, like, my hair was dripping droplets of water drenched. And I was wearing a sweater, too, which took forever to dry. I was the very definition of bedraggled all morning.
Then when I left work, I looked to the north (the direction I was traveling) and the sky looked...ominous, to say the least. The deluge started when I was halfway home. Traffic on the freeway slowed to a crawl, I could barely see a thing even with the wipers on their highest setting, and by the time I made it to the boys’ daycare I was feeling really on edge. So just as I dropped them off in a downpour, I picked them up in one too. Except this time I got them into and out of the car one at a time, so I had to make multiple trips in the rain.
The tornado sirens started going off right after everyone was settled inside. Andrew, of course, started yelling “Fire engine! Ambulance!” and went right over to the window to try to see what was going on. Not surprisingly, he got very angry with me when I pulled him away from the window, and even angrier when Joe and I hustled him into the bathroom (our “safe” room). He threw a huge tantrum the whole time we were in there, and then? When it was finally safe to come out? He didn’t want to leave the bathroom, and he threw a fit about that, too.
Later, at bath time, I put Will in the bathtub and turned around to try to coax Andrew in, and when I turned back to the tub Will had slipped and was on all fours in the water, spluttering and shocked. I picked him up immediately and soothed him, and his wet little body soaked right through my tee-shirt, but I had been wet so much already that day that I didn’t even care. He was fine after just a minute, but I was traumatized and crying. I’m still a little shaken by the whole thing. Because I was distracted, because I wasn’t being careful enough, my baby could have drowned. I know I’m being melodramatic about it. But I can only say that because everything turned out fine.
It had been a long day, I was exhausted and irritable, but I should have been paying more attention. Sometimes I’m just so overwhelmed by each evening’s packed schedule, and everything else that happened yesterday just made it all seem even worse. Some nights -- most nights, if I’m going to be completely honest -- I can’t wait for the boys to go to bed so I can finally sit down. After I get their stuff ready for the next day, that is.
But seeing Will’s little face covered in a sheen of water was a wake-up call for me. I need to slow down, to focus, to not worry so much about accomplishing one thing and moving on to the next task. It’s not worth it. No matter how bad a day I’m having, I need to not let my boys see how irritated and distracted I am. I don’t want them to see me that way, or to remember me that way. They deserve more from me. Even if I am bedraggled.