Sunday, April 3, 2011

an update: tears, humility and ice cream

A very heartfelt thank you to all those who commented on my post last Monday, both here and on Twitter and Facebook. It really was not my most shining parenting moment, that's for sure! But I know I'm not the only one who loses my temper or raises my voice or makes mistakes as a mom... I just don't usually do all those things is such quick succession! And to all those who mentioned something about an "awful day", all that happened between 3:45pm and 6:30pm (when I sent them all to bed early). Not even three hours! It's amazing how quickly everything can implode.

After I posted that blog, I went to the boys' room and quietly opened the door. They were all asleep (clearly they were all over-tired which I'm sure was one of many contributing factors). I was a bit disappointed to not get to talk to them, so I hauled myself up onto the top bunk with Liam and shook him until he woke up. I told him I needed him to know how sorry I was for losing my temper and yelling at them all. That it wasn't his fault and that I loved him so very, very much.

The first words out of his mouth?

"It's okay mommy. I forgive you." 

And then...

"I love you, too." With that he rolled back over and was sound asleep a few seconds later. 

I'm finding that, as my boys grow and change and mature, that I'm finding more and more moments where I'm amazed, awed, encouraged... and humbled. That was definitely one of the humbling ones.

After lugging myself none-to-gracefully out of Liam's bed, I went to Simon. Leaning over him, I shook him gently. Then not so gently. I whispered his name. I rocked him back and forth. Child would. not. wake. up. See above re: being tired. So I kissed him and whispered "I love you" and moved on to Andrew.

Andrew proved just as impossible to stir, but much easier to move. So I picked him up out of his crib and carried him to the chair in the boys' room. I sat with him and rocked him and held him and soaked in his sleeping sweetness... and felt even worse for what I'd done.

We can all agree that parenting is rewarding and wonderful and life-changing and amazing and so many other things... but it can also be really, really hard. Although we generally enjoy our life down here in Bogota, parenting in a foreign country where both the weather and the city itself can often times be oppressive, and where your main support system is thousands of miles away, has added some challenges that I maybe wasn't fully at all prepared for. Throw in a hugely shocking -and unbelievably difficult- surprise pregnancy and all the raging hormones and volatile emotions that go along with it and you have the recipe for some rather un-stellar parenting moments.

Thank goodness our boys are resilient! I just hope they're able to remember all the truly wonderful times we've had down here... with hopefully many more to come.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh, and what of the cheque book? 

Well after looking in every imaginable place SEVERAL TIMES EACH, Peter found it in the first place I'd looked. He celebrated his find by chiding me ever so slightly... and I burst into tears. 

I'd looked there! More than once! I swear! 

I was so angry and frustrated... and emotionally fragile. I just sat there AND CRIED. 

I'd looked there.

Peter had gotten home late that day (after the boys had been sent to bed) and I'd not had the chance to unload on him the complete narrative of our fully horrible afternoon, so he was a bit taken aback by my melting into a puddle on the couch. I think he might've made up for it with a bowl of ice cream (I am pregnant after all, and they have some really excellent ice cream down here), but I think I've blocked that afternoon/evening from my memory as much as possible.

Either way, cheque book was found and the necessary cheques were written and mailed. 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Four out of five members of this family cried that night, but hopefully the perspective gained will carry me through the last few months of this pregnancy. If not, I guess I'll be well acquainted with apologizing to my boys and being humbled by their unconditional love and easy forgiveness. 

As backup, we spent over $15 on ice cream today.


  1. Hugs Amy. Your story reminded me of a day I lost it on my boys and I crumbled into a puddle of tears in front of them. They have very different personalities and D came over, hugged me as I apologized and told me he loved me too. M looked at my from a distance and sneered "You're not crying are you?". Oh the love. He's a tough nut that one :)

  2. Aww, what great kids you have! And what a great mom to go in and make things right, not waiting a single minute longer. $15 on ice cream?? Nice work! Sounds like Peter has gained a little wisdom over the years. :) Love and miss you guys!

  3. I had the most beautiful picture in my mind reading about you going to each of the boys and loving on them. You are a wonderful mom! You have amazing little men and one big one, too. Thank goodness for icecream! Love you guys!


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