The other day I got upset over something so stupid. Something that was not worth crying about, but I did. I heaved heavy, loud, wracking sobs into Jim's chest.
I sat on the top stair, of the two stair decent that leads into the garage from the kitchen. Jim knelt in front of me, as he would any of our children, and he held out his arms for me to collapse into. We sat like this for a few minutes, as tears of frustration, tears of anger, tears of pain, rolled down my cheeks.
It felt good.
Until I felt a tiny hand on my shoulder. It was Jake. And my stomach dropped.
I hate to cry like this in front of my kids. hate.
I know that they should see me cry once in awhile, and they do. Maybe they see me wipe away tears, okay SOBS, at the end of Toy Story 3, because OMG it's so sad, Andy leaves for college!
But I never want them to see me like this. Wallowing in self-pity, crying because I'm pissed. Not using my words, and basically, having a tantrum. You know, the same thing I tell them not to do.
Jake asked me, "What's wrong mommy, why are you sad?" And I didn't know what to tell him. I paused, and finally just said:
"I'm crying because I'm mad. Because I'm frustrated. Isn't that silly?"
And Jake bent forward, locked his arms around my neck and said, "I love you mommy."
Which made me cry even harder.
And then I heard the tiny pad of Lily's footsteps running into the kitchen. She was decked out in full princess gear, head to toe, which made me smile. And Lily stopped, looked at me and asked:
"You sad Momma?"
She came over, put her face in mine, gave me a kiss and rubbed my back, murmuring, "It's okay mommy, it's okay. Don't cry."
And we sat like this, the four of us in the kitchen. Jake and Lily were, by this time, both in my lap. And we rocked back and forth.
And I began to cry once more.
But this time, I was crying tears of happiness, tears of gratitude.
I am so blessed.
These kids are my everything.
Later that night, after the kids were asleep, and we lay in bed reminiscing about the scene in the kitchen earlier, I marveled at how sweet the kids had been to comfort me the way the did. How they seemed to know just what I needed in that moment.
I said: "Lily is such a little mommy."
And Jim looked at me, smiled and said:
"And where do you think she learned that? She learned it from her mommy. You teach the kids compassion, you show them what kindness is. She is only imitating the example you set. You are an awesome mom, and they are so lucky to have you."
You know what? Sometimes Jim knows exactly what I need to hear too.
My day started off with anger, and frustration and wanting to punch things, but it took one simple act, the act of being surrounded by loving hands, sitting on a kitchen floor, to change my perspective on everything.
All I know is I'm going to do my best to show my children the compassion and comfort they showed me. The next time one of them is crying because they are frustrated or angry (which happens a lot) I will not send them to their room for having a tantrum. I will place loving hands on them and murmur. "I'm here."