Sometimes I'm a rotten parent.
Every morning when I leave for work, before the sun is up and the house is quiet and dark, I kiss the damp heads of my little boys goodbye. And every day, I think that this will be the day I'm not strong enough to leave them again. All I want is to curl up next to them while they sleep and hold them.
But I leave. Every morning, I kiss them while they are sleeping and leave.
During the day, it is rush rush rush hurry hurry hurry think think think decide decide decide. I am glad I'm doing this. This is good for our family. This puts a roof over our head and a future in our reach. But it is hard. There are moments when it is quiet and I stand in a back hall, take a deep breath, and am still. When it is still, I am homesick for blond-headed blue-eyed boys.
12 hours, maybe 30, pass before I go home again. Then I have one thought on my mind. Hurry hurry hurry home to the too quickly growing boys that I love.
I love these boys more than I ever thought possible.
I guess that's the reason I'm so disappointed with myself.
I just want to soak them up, but too many times I walk through the door and notice the unswept floor or the unfinished homework or the occasional sibling bicker. I want to savor each moment, but find myself tense and short-tempered.
I can be a really terrible parent.
I escape to quiet at the computer or with a text book. I bark at them for being too loud. I'm not patient with Bug's questions or Monkey's crying. I can be rough with my words, short with my attention, and quick with my discipline.
I will have had the opportunity to spend several hours with them, hours that could have been spent reading together, constructing blanket forts or block kingdoms, but instead were trifled away with laundry and dishes and Facebook.
Monkey doesn't let me read to him or brush his teeth or carry him to bed anymore. He requests, no, demands Hubster be the person who turns the pages and tucks the covers over him. I vacillate between taking it in stride and being angry and hurt. He's only three years old.
But I think he's already disappointed in me too.
He won't let me kiss him good-night.
But after he and Bug are asleep, and then again before they wake, I'll kneel by their bed and kiss them, and promise to do better tomorrow.