Man I just lost it. It’s past 9:30. I’ve allowed my son to talk with his father far later than I should have, although it once again puts him way past a healthy bedtime. I ask Elihu – as I have so many, many times – please not to play with the ceiling light, as he will break it if he continues. Please, do not jump from the couch and try to grab the cord. Please don’t. Please. So tonite was that night. The night when, talking to his father on the phone, he absentmindedly jumped and grabbed. The night when the cord to the light snapped, when it became one more thing on my list of things to fix, to attend to, to spend money on. I lost it. I grabbed the phone from him, hung up on his father – who had made the topic of their conversation what Elihu should give his toddler half-brother for his second birthday – and I begin my descent into my ‘I’ve-had-it-rage’.
I try to stop myself from doing something I’ll regret. I walk Elihu into his bedroom, assemble his nightwear on the bed, tell him one final time to please brush his teeth, get changed and into bed. Good Lord, sometimes I cannot fathom how a kid who can share a philosophical conversation with me over dinner can become so thick-headed and disconnected from his world just minutes later. He sobs, of course, and I’m sorry that what was almost a perfect night has turned so sour, and mostly because of my reaction. It’s just that he knows better, I’ve cautioned him many times… My ego has taken over and for the moment I’m feeling every bit the single mother. Maybe also because I have some important dental work to be done tomorrow, and without my still-husband’s updated insurance info it’s no go. I hate relying on him still, and I’m so afraid of the life that awaits post-divorce: no more trips to the doctor or the dentist. It simply won’t be an option. I will join the leagues of good people for whom a pap smear or a tooth cleaning – let alone a root canal – will be simply unaffordable. Maybe that’s also contributing to my dark mood right now.
Elihu told me that the energy in the gym was way too much at indoor recess today, so he did what I told him, he took three deep breaths. Only instead of three, he made it six. And he made the exhalations as long as he could. “It made it much better” he told me. At the supper table we breathed six times in, and six times out before we ate. A very good thing to do. Maybe that’s what I need to do right now.
I can hear that Elihu is singing to himself now. Maybe Fareed has emailed the insurance info by now as he said he would. I sure hope so. Breathe. If the worst of it all is a broken ceiling fan, then I guess all is ok. It’s not so bad, and right now, I’m fine. I have my son, my health, my house, and the electricity is still on.
First I need to take a few good, deep breaths, then I’ll set things right with Elihu. He did something stupid, and so did I. Ok. Here I go. In… out….