I love Charles Dickens, so it's fitting that my life lately has been a series of "the best of times and the worst of times." There are days when I absolutely love what I have right now, days when my heart tears at the thought of leaving this all behind in a few months for a job that I could never love as much as I love my two boys.
And then there are days when I kind of (but not really) wish I was back at work. Days when at every misbehavior from Luke, I convince myself that it's my fault. That he gets the worst of me. That I must be the worst parent in the world because some days I am short on patience, energy, and time. Some days I feel like I'm being pulled in a million different directions, none of them right. I never chalk Luke's behavior up to his being a two year old, instead I chalk it up to my being a bad parent and thinking every other two year old in the world is better behaved than he is.
Yesterday we had a day that seemed so right in my head. Hiking and running around at a nearby arboretum. But in my head isn't always the same as reality, and in reality, Luke didn't listen to a single word I said. He pushed and tested, and I counted to ten so many times that I'm sure I must've reached a million. We came home, and he tried to run away across the yard. Then naptime wasn't working because the neighbor kids apparently needed to stand under his bedroom window and scream, so I took him into our bed and tried to cuddle him to sleep. Instead, he grabbed my face and pinched it so hard that I burst into tears at the pain and frustration of it.
Immediately he dropped his hands and said, "I'm sorry, mama, it's okay, mama," and wrapped his arms around me, bringing my head to his shoulder. He kissed my forehead and said, "I pat you," and he patted my back and stroked my hair JUST like I've done for him a million times before. We fell asleep curled into each other, my tears drying on his sweater, his hands curled in my hair. And in the last few minutes before sleep took us, I realized that even though he may sometimes get the worst of me, he still gets the best of me, and maybe he can't fight the two year old lack of impulse all the time, but he can still be my sweet boy just when I need him to be.