Mama said there'd be days like this.
This morning was a challenge. There were a few do-overs and a number of fresh starts. I spoke with a shrill, desperate tone. I yelled at them to please be kind and talk nicely (how did I not see the irony?). I showed them deep breathing, and stomping feet. I made sure they were fed and watered, comfortable and safe. They still hit, cried, pushed, whined and sulked. There will be more days like his. There will be harder days like this. There may never be an easy day again.
I look to those who have walked this before me for reassurance, for encouragement and guidance. My mom commiserates and tells me she remembers, that I'm doing a great job and that sometimes kids are nuts. I read Karen Maezen Miller, who always reminds me to step outside my head to see what's really happening. I bring the kids out of the house and into the woods where I walk with a friend who distracts us from our circus with wildlife sightings and funny stories.
What I'm learning is to go ahead and do it, anyway. The learning is in the doing. Make lunch, fold the laundry, start supper, read for pleasure, and go about my day with the best of intentions. There can be a million do-overs, and a thousand stolen moment of peace and quiet between frays. The good moments are over soon, just as the not-so-good ones pass. No one can beat time's passage.
I feel like I am enrolled in an endless course with a demanding curriculum. There is much to take in, many lessons to apply, passes and fails, time spent working on it outside of class, and hope that in the doing I am learning.