I should have been a better role model for Jax and taken the high road, but I didn’t.
This weekend, we took a family vacation to Door County, Wisconsin. We’ve had this trip planned for months and had already paid for our hotel room, so even though we are completely broke, we decided to go for it.
My parents always taught me that no matter how stressful things are, a vacation can help reset your perspective.
So when the lady in white walked by, I smiled.
And then, Jax reached up over his head with his fork and accidentally touched her.
She looked at Jax with a look of annoyance, “My sweater!”, she said. She glared at me.
What did she want me to do? Did she want me to apologize? She was the one who ran into Jax! Did she want me to offer to pay to get her sweater cleaned? I didn’t see any marks! Was she judging us because we brought a young child to a restaurant? We were on the patio and there were other kids there!
So, I did the absolute worst thing possible.
I said “Well, maybe you should watch where you’re going.”
And as she glared at me and walked away, I did the most absolute double-worst thing possible.
I said “What a bitch!”
My mind was reeling with all kinds of thoughts. Don’t you know, lady:
that this kid fought for months to live?
that he has a brain tumor?
how absolutely amazing it is that his fine motor skills are strong enough that he can even eat with a fork?
that our family has been through so much crap in the last few years, that we deserve to enjoy a night out on the town?
AAARRRGGGHHHH…entitlement is not something I want to teach Jax!
Why did I do that?!
I snapped. I guess the stress of the last few months (and years) finally got to me. I was angry that this lady interrupted what was supposed to be a peaceful and stress-free vacation.
But, now I’m angry that I allowed my temper to get the best of me. I’m angry that I let Jax see what not to do in this kind of situation!
And most of all, I’m sad at the thoughts that ran through my head at that moment. I’m sad that Jax has had to endure so much; I’m sad that’s our story. But, why should Jax, or us, get any special treatment just because of how hard we’ve had to fight to be a “normal” family?
There was only one bitch here, and that was ME!
I learned a lesson in humility this weekend. I learned a lesson in grace.
I have a lot of work to do if I’m ever going to get any better at this parenting gig.
I guess my parents were right: vacation really does help change your perspective. This one happens to be a tough change to accept!
8 thoughts on “A Lesson in Humility and Parenting: A Run-In at a Restaurant”
I agree with everyone. Give yourself a break. We’ve all been there and you have a LOT going on. I wonder if it may also be a sign from your head to you that it would help to talk about things more? To a trusted friend or family member or counselor? There’s no reason to shoulder this burden alone. Even if J was full term healthy and he had this tumor that would be enough to push anyone over the edge. Add on EVERYthing else and well…..I know you know this but I’m here anytime you need! And finally, thank you for sharing this and reminding me that we are not alone in those moments too!
Thanks, friend. You’re right. I do feel alone in this. There isn’t really anyone I can talk to who “gets it.” I appreciate the reminder and YOU!
Yes! Cut yourself some slack. I would have done the same thing. Some people expect children to act like adults and they forget what it was like to have kids. You are an amazing mom! Keep trucking’ ;o)
Thanks! Funny thing was that she was with her two older kids! I guess she did forget what it was like…thanks for the reminder!
We’ve all been there. L and I have a long commute to work/daycare every day, and more than once I have let my anger with poor/aggressive drivers get the best of me. Audibly. I have apologized to L every single time and explained that mommy should have taken the high road. But we’re human, and sometimes our big feelings that hide just beneath the surface rear their ugly heads. So learn from the experience and then give yourself a break!
Thanks! It was just so unlike me – I was so MEAN. But, I’m working on forgiving myself and cutting myself some slack!
Hey, give yourself a break! We all break at times and live with different PAINS, it is what you learn and do after that matters. Just have:
I Love you, Teresa