Tuesday, January 12, 2010

i have to breathe.

here i sit, first thing tuesday morning. both kids have gone on the bus to school.  it was a race to get out the door and to the bus.  we never know what the new day brings. i try to remain calm and peaceful in the organized chaos of our morning routine.  these days, i breathe a sigh of relief when the bus chugs up the hill to the next stop.

this morning, t.j. was up and ready. ready for school and the plans made for after school.  grace woke up with resistance.......resistance to the wake up....the school day....and the after school plans.  the plans for something new...something our kids have never done.  something resisted.  a great opportunity.  from the moment grace opened her eyes, she resisted and resisted and was determined to wear me down.  she exhausted herself.  i had to stay strong.  it took everything i had.

today both busses were doing their dance....as if choreographed with precision.  one bus to middle school approached....the high school bus waited and waited and waited........ while grace tore through the house, wimpering, embarrassed for holding up the bus.......pleading with me to drive her to school.
all while the bus driver sat and waited.  she begged with tears.  at that moment in time, i knew she had to get out the door.  i knew i had to sit tight and ignore her plea.  it was painful for me. it was painful for grace.  i would have done her a disservice if i hadn't stuck to plan.  this was one time where she needed to know there was no negotiation.  it was not about the bus. it was about doing what she's supposed to do.....about follow through....and about knowing she can do what she has to do.  sometimes we all have to do things we don't want to do.  it wasn't about the bus. i couldn't back down.

she stomped out the door, angry.  angry with me.....when in doubt, blame the mom.  she stomped and plodded through the snow.....in her flip flops.  i think back to earlier days.....when the flip flops would have been the issue.  we've moved on to more than flipflops in the snow.

as the lights on the bus faded away in the distance, i took a breath.  a big breath......and i cried.  it is so hard for me to be the tough one.  it would be much easier to give in.  when we, the parents, give in to some of the little things, it backfires......they try to wear us down for the bigger things.  who ever would have thought i'd have to think this way. me.  flexible me.  here i am again....tip toeing on that fine line while my sweet, angry daughter leaves flipflop prints in the snow.

the school days, when our kids had time to sit down for breakfast and were happy to start each day, are over.  i'm grateful for the fun busstop mornings....our kids were excited to run down the hill, get there early to play and laugh with friends.  saying goodbye, with a kiss, then a wave from the window with smiling faces as the big yellow bus rolled away.

today, there  is more drama....less words...more like morning mumbles.  enthusiasm is the last word  i think of to describe the attitude towards school.  enthusiasm has it's ups and downs even with friendships that have more drama at this stage.  everyone is learning as they go...learning what's acceptable in friendship, making new friends, keeping old friends or letting them go.  just like our friendships, some take more work than others.  some, we learn, are worth the effort, some are not.

this is not something we can teach. we can be there.  we can listen. we can offer advice.  mostly, our advice isn't what our kids are looking for.  it's a fine line we walk everday, as parents.  they are trying to be independent....they don't want to share as much...they think we don't understand...they think these problems of adolescence are new.  we know they're just the same, with new complications.

if only.  if only they knew how much we want to be there for them.......as they go down this road of bumps and hurdles.  in one breath, they want us.  one more, they don't want us.  we walk a fine line...it is my biggest challenge.  some days, i can be there for our kids and they welcome my presence.  other days, my presence can make them cringe.

this is my challenge lately....every day....sometimes, before anyone walks out the door.  i have to breathe.

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