I have been practicing my breathing.
Deep inhales from the belly with ginormous exhales that go on forever.
That's because I'm on a stretch of single parenting and well, my kiddos were assholes at the art museum this afternoon.
I'm not sure why, but they know when to push my buttons and each other's particularly, when we're in public and I can't go full-on bat shit crazy for fear that Child Protective Services will swoop down and take them away for good.
Knowing that I cannot lose my shit with them, does not in anyway prevent them from losing their shit witn me and producing tantrums of a "Cybl" caliber.
And so, it was with lots of breathing and kind words and semi-gritting of my teeth that I said to my beautiful, sweet, Kate (8), "This behavior is absolutely unacceptable. You pushed a three-year old little boy. We are at an art museum, not your bedroom. You need to take turns and allow someone to experience what you are." To which she replied, "I can't help it. He ruined my painting. What would you have done?"
Her heartfelt words reminded me of my yoga class yesterday as I was struggling to find my way into "Crow" position. It wasn't working. I was getting frustrated and my instructor said, "This is a safe space to play and grow into the postures. Try not to force it. One day, you'll arrive. Allow, allow, allow it to be what it's going to be." Ugh...I'm tired of allowing it to be what it's going to be. I want it to work, even for half a second.
And to that end, I see me in Kate. She had a creation in mind and someone fucked it up. The natural response is to push back and protect what's yours instead of allowing it to become what it will.
Much like parenting, I struggle to let the afternoon emerge as it will. I have an idea of what I think it can be and when it's not working, rarely do I take a step back and trust that it will work itself out. Instead, I shove it, push it, morph it, bang it until well....we're all exhausted and spent.
But damn it, it's hard and frustrating and well, the last thing you want to feel when you're experiencing beautiful art at a museum.
That said, upon getting into the car, Kate said, "I'm sorry. I could have been nicer." To which I said, "Me too." Which took every fiber of my being to own.
I guess my children weren't the only assholes at the museum. Here's to more deep breathing and wine...yes, wine.