In fact, Lily and Jovie would probably ask that all available parties conduct an intensive search for my temper, because it appears I'm constantly losing it.
(Perhaps I should tether it to me with one of those little elastic clippies that parents use to affix pacifiers to onesies -- as to prevent the the cataclysmic explosions that occur following pacifier loss. Or, maybe I just need a pacifier.)
I don't know whether it's that the girls are finding new and interesting ways to push my buttons or that I'm not getting enough sleep or that my lifetime stores of patience are dipping dangerously low or if it's a combination of all three.
Either way, it's become an area of growing concern for me. I don't like yelling. I don't like throwing things on the floor or slamming my fist on the table. I reprimand my children for that behavior and I hate myself each time I fail to control my actions.
My temper has become an unwelcome doppelganger in my life. And I'm starting to think that we shouldn't chide people for acting like a child, they watch us, afterall. Maybe they should be reprimanded when they act like a grownup.
So Friday dawns -- the day of my Big Reading for YorkFest's opening reception. I was not feeling especially excited about it. I felt worn out and moody, not to mention I had no idea what to wear. Then at some point in the afternoon Lily did something -- maybe shoved Jovie in the face or demanded something in a manner that made me feel like The Help (which she'd been doing all day already). Whatever it was, I lost it. Again. I screamed at her to stop screaming at me (such an effective method for conflict resolution) and then immediately felt like a troll.
I did not feel like I deserved to have this great moment standing in front of a group of creative sorts sharing this dumb short story I wrote. I certainly didn't feel like I deserved the bouquet of flowers Brad sent me. I felt like I deserved to be hiding under a bridge somewhere, looking for goats to eat or something.
Brad got home early to help with the girls. I figured out what to wear. Lily told me I looked beautiful.
We all headed to the gallery together. Lily and Jovie were the only children there (well, only children under high-school age).
|Hamming it up before I read.|
And just like that, it was my turn. So I put the day behind me. And I read an excerpt from "The Short Bonnie Life of Donovan MacWallace" (an excerpt because even my short stories are long) complete with ridiculous Scottish accent.
|Hamming it up while I read.|
And people laughed, which was the point. And even seemed to think I did a serviceable Scottish accent. Walking back to my family and friends I felt energized and excited and happy. And not just because of my bomb-ass third place ribbon ...
|Hamming it up after I read.|
And I don't mean to sound overly sentimental or boastful or anything, but I have to say for my fellow stay-at-home moms and working moms and moms who do both -- it feels really nice to have a win now and then. Even when we don't feel so worthy of it. I'm not going to say that the night will solve the problem of my temper, but I will say it makes me feel less like a tool at my family's disposal.
On Saturday Brad drove the girls up to his parent's house for the weekend. He thought maybe I could use a couple days to myself. He is very thoughtful, and right, as it turns out.
So for past two and a half days it's just been me, the cats and the dog.
|He's really bored.|
And my laptop.
And here's where I buried the lead.
Between Saturday and Sunday I wrote around 10,000 words for my novel.
And while it's still an extremely rough first draft.
I think it's finally a finished rough first draft.
Which means after four years and 128 posts centered largely around writing about how I was never going to finish writing my novel ... I think I finished it.
("Phew," I can hear you say, "At least we won't have to here about that anymore.")
That's all I got, too.
I've missed them.