Friday, July 19, 2013

All in Good Time

Patience. All in good time.

Part I

A couple weeks ago I drove the boys to my hometown in Upstate New York, BY MYSELF. After all, I'm a seasoned mother of a 2.5 yr-old, and those last four weeks with Chance have gone great. I've got this. Right.

Our destination is about 270 miles away, and with no children and no bathroom breaks takes about four hours. It took us six. Less than two hours in, I have to pee, all three of us are hungry and Chance is crying his head off. I stop at a service station on the Mass Pike where we head into the bathroom. There is no stall large enough to accommodate a double stroller so I find an empty one way at the back, slide in, and place the stroller right in front of the door. I begin singing so Max knows I'm still there, but despite my efforts he has a fit of separation anxiety so now I have two crying children. Quickly exit the stall, very quickly change both diapers, and hop in line at the D'Angelo's. The line doesn't move. Both my kids are still crying. I'm getting nervous and starting to sweat. I make a split second decision to jump ship and we head over to Boston Market. As I try to keep the binky in Chance's wailing mouth I stare blankly at the menu. The girl behind the counter stares at me waiting for me to say something, but when I look at her my eyes well up. "I need a moment," I say, and move off to the side where the dam behind my eyes breaks loose. I'm just about to head back to the car when a young Boston Market employee steps out and says,

"Can I help you?"

"No, I'm fine. I'm just gonna go."

"No," he says. "I have kids. Can I help you?"

YES!!!!!!! I want to yell it to the rooftops. Instead, with a cracking voice I give him a makeshift order and he brings it out in no time.

Thank you Boston Market. You saved my life that day, or at least my afternoon.

Patience. I'll figure it out. All in good time.

Part II

Max is mad at me. Mommy brought home a baby, and now she's mean. The typical 2.5 yr-old tantrums have been ratcheted up a few notches, so now we have more of everything. More throwing, more hitting, more biting, more screaming, more crying. It's very trying. And some days, this is the only view of Max that I get:

 On those days I'm lucky if I get a few moments with a solemn boy willing to stay put.

But, every day it gets a little better. He's a little warmer. He's throws one less tantrum. He gives me an extra big hug.

Patience. All in good time.

Part III

And then there's Max and the baby. Oh man. In those first few weeks, if Max wasn't shunning Chance, he was squeezing his leg or smacking his belly or pinching his cheek. His reward every time: a wailing Chance.

These days more of those squeezes are hugs. The smacks are more often pats. The pinches...well, there just haven't been any.

Patience. All in good time.

And that's really all it takes. Time. It's a little like being a child counting the days until Christmas. How impatient I was; I felt I would burst my seams with anticipation. The days passed like molasses, and it felt like Christmas would never come.

Then, all of a sudden, it was here. The excitement, the joy, the energy. And then it was over, just like that, as if Father Time had pressed fast forward.

Now I'm grown, and supposedly wiser than I was back then. I should know better than to wish for the end of this phase, because when it comes I'm going to think, "Where did all that time go?"

What I need is to let go and be patient. Everything will come...all in good time.