I wasn't a very good Mom tonight. I was irritable and short and prone to brooding. I snapped at T. Bone when he gabbed all through his easy homework, and then I really ranted when he presented me with a paper filled with second grade grammar mistakes. He's in sixth grade and at the top of his class. In the end, I apologized and put on my editor's hat, but a tad grudgingly. I frequently remind him that I am not in sixth grade...he is. It's one of those things parents say that I swore I never would. I just about chewed Miss Bit's head off when she asked for dessert right after spaghetti dinner. I had just finished cleaning the dinner dishes and she wanted to make another mess. My Mom used to joke about hanging a Kitchen's Closed sign. I think it's a brilliant idea. Again, I said I was sorry. Then I served them bowls of sherbert straight away. Rainbow sherbert and T. Bone only wanted two of the three colors, of course. At that moment, I started seeing red. I grumbled and growled some more, but he didn't have a lick of pineapple in his bowl.
I started feeling like Mommy Dearest so I gave myself a timeout. I literally went to my room and curled up on my bed, and I stayed away from the hangers in my closet. My cats nervously followed me slinking along this hallway and that. They know nothing of Joan Crawford. For them it's our sump pump, which never goes off. It has been running regularly today all day, I presume, and all night I have heard. The boys do not like the commotion in the southwest corner of the basement at all. It's racket we're not used to given our sandy river edge soil. We're about ready to build our arc here. It's been raining for days...days and nights. Normally, I am into a little rain, but we're way beyond water logged and weary. The river has been rising and roaring for days.
In the quiet of my room, I tried to listen to the cadence of the steady stream upon my roof and against my windows while I waited in vain to get an attitude adjustment. The boys were even recoiling at the familiar drip ping, so traumatized have they been all day by firing up of the pump's engine. I realize that they are on edge. I confess that I may be perched on the precipice too. This fight or flight response is palpable and pressing.
There's a lot going on right now. When it rains it pours. Not profound, but true. Yet I know these are days for rising to the occasion and saying I'm sorry I'm wrong when I am...then moving on. These are days for saying Thank you for, well, so much to so many, and I love you to many more.
I know pain and guilt often manifest themselves as anger. At least in my little life. I'm likely to reproach or reject when I'm hurting, shamed or sad. And I felt shame that I decided not to get together pictures of my Uncle for tomorrow's service. I wimped out saying that I didn't have many and few worthy ones. He didn't like pictures or parties anymore I excused. Then after my attitude improvement, I started going through boxes and albums all throughout the house. I found many worthy. Not perfect, but worthy. Telling. True. The images reveal a man I knew as Uncle simply as who he was: simple and kind and real. A guy's guy who loved fishing and gardening and politics. A lover of Christ, a Godly man, and the patriarch of a family he cared for. I cannot imagine a better legacy than to be remembered as the salt of the earth.
So I'm putting together that picture board, after all, as much for myself as for him. The picture that absolutely made my heart melt was of him holding my hours old bundle of baby girl not like a football, but like a loaf of bread. He's looking down at her reverently. His gaze and grip say you are precious...you are cherished.
And so is he.