I got angry at my 10 year old today. Not that this was the first time, nor the last time, I’m sure.
We had been having such a great day too. Slept in, talked a bit while snuggling in bed. He even said he wanted to take a break from video games today! Well, this morning. Okay, maybe until after breakfast.
We packed a picnic lunch and went to the park, laid on a blanket, and stared at the sky. “This is really nice, Mom. We should do this more!” Music to my momma ears! There’s something in my eye…
After lunch, we carried on through the park, stopping at the swings, where he made a friend or two. Once he tired of that, we headed off with the phone, in search of some Pokemon, and the unavoidable “Raid Boss Battle”, which has somehow become our summer routine.
Only for one more day this week. He’s back to his father’s house tomorrow. And then it’s my time.
Or so it was supposed to be, until I got a text this afternoon, asking me to keep him until the following morning. I always reply yes, because I would rather my kids be with me as much as possible, even though it invariable means more babysitting for my mom while I’m at work.
But then it sinks in that the lazy afternoon of writing in a coffee shop, or reading a book on the deck won’t be happening. I’ve just lost out on the “me” time I had been counting on for the last 5 days. And I’m angry, frustrated, resentful.
I cycle around like this every week…miss him like crazy the second I drop him off at his dad’s house, and can’t wait for him to get home. Love my time with him, despite the constant fights with his brother, arguing over video games or lego or who took what from who’s room, and can’t wait for him to go back to his dad’s so I can get a break.
So back to my anger this evening, over something so foolish. I was trying to get some writing done, sitting on the couch beside him, glancing up every time he would say “Look Mom, watch me defeat this guy!” or “Watch me play this round!”. But then he would get mad because the wifi signal upstairs kept dropping, meaning he would lose connection to his video games. And he lashed out at me, blaming my computer work for hogging the signal.
So like every mature parent (snort!) I grabbed my things and stormed off to my room, to get some peace and quiet!! After all I did for him today, taking him around to play that stupid Pokemon Go game, waiting around for him to battle just one more gym, or go the long way around to catch some other character! Another turn on the swings, or letting him run through the splash pad fully clothed until he was completely soaked! My grumbling went on and on as I typed it all out.
And as I wrote about it, remembering our afternoon together, I caught myself. I realized that might just be the last time he runs through the splash pad, or wants to be pushed on the swings. He only turned 10 a few short weeks ago, and yet he’s wearing the same size runners as me. Brushing our teeth last night, looking in the bathroom mirror, I noticed he’s only a head shorter than me. He’ll soon surpass me, and even his older brother, if he keeps up the pace he’s been on since birth.
My feelings of frustration about losing my free afternoon tomorrow now suddenly don’t seem so important. My anger, which was more to do with his father that with him, has dissipated. I know when the boys are both grown up and gone, in a very few short years, I’ll have time enough on my own. More alone time than I will be comfortable with, I’m sure.
I made myself see that I get this extra bonus day with my not-so-little boy. Just me and him, before his big brother comes home from camp, and we’re back to being the “Three Musketeers”. So we will celebrate.
Probably by hunting down another Pokemon “Raid Boss Battle” and catching that Articuno that eluded him today.