Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Letters to our Children ::February blog circle::

{This month's letter to our children blog circle post}

Dear Gavin, 

 Today was not one of my best days as a mama. blog3

You see, Daddy has been gone for almost two months. We all miss him. At this point he's only days away from coming home (for a short bit before being gone...again). I thought we'd all been doing a good job at holding down the fort. But being alone and a single mama is hard work and this week it's all finally boiled up, we are all tired, we are all grumpy and miss daddy. 

 You have tried so hard (and done so much more than I should expect of you) to help out around the house. Today while waiting for your lunch, I kept having to remind all of you that I was busy making lunch, and it was coming, be patient, stop demanding and ask nicely...on and on the things I feel like I say 400 times a day, after the fifth or sixth time of reminding everyone that lunch was almost patience was gone,I snapped and yelled at you to quit whining, and just wait nicely and if you couldn't stop whining about waiting, there wouldn't be any lunch. 

You burst into tears and yelled "I don't want you anymore mama, I just want daddy!"

You really are wise beyond your years. You are almost six but I forget that because you are such a good helper, and such a sweet hard working big brother. I forget and get frustrated when you fall short of my unrealistic expectations.

Today at lunch, everything went wrong, from me yelling before it even started to Owen (almost two) throwing his plate (like always), food scattered everywhere, next went the cups and there was a giant mess staring at me in the floor. I yelled at Owen, asking him why he always had to throw things. Why he couldn't sit still and behave. You defended him. "He's only almost barely two mama! He can't help it, he's a baby too!" (boy, it hurts to hear your own words of "wisdom", words that I have spouted at you and sister when you get frustrated with Owen for destroying something of yours, come back at you in the voice of your five year old with angry tears welling up in his eyes). 
blog4 I am sorry I yelled today, A LOT.

 I yelled at you when after I finished cleaning up Owen's mess, you bumped into the table in the excitement of getting an Oreo cookie for dessert, you knocked over your own drink and it splashed all over the floor that I had just mopped. More tears, from both of us. Mess mopped up again. Hugs and tears dried. 

Then I finally got both little brothers to take a nap, you had been (not so) patiently waiting to break out a new pad of drawing paper and markers that I had bought for you. I kept reminding you that you had to wait until Owen was asleep, because he's redecorated half the house with markers you accidentally leave out, and he's "ruined" more of your pictures than I can count by adding scribbles to them when you leave them out within his reach. You wanted me to help you draw a picture of an eagle. You love eagles and falcons right now, and wild turkeys. It's your favorite thing to draw. You were so mad that Owen drew all over your golden eagle picture, so you wanted my help fixing a new one. blog

I didn't want to help you draw, I wanted to sit in peace for five minutes with a cup of coffee. 

I tried stalling, "five minutes baby and then I'll be there" but you were on edge from all the yelling and grumpiness earlier and you melted down again. You wailed and threatened me, "I just want your help so I can draw you a picture, you said you liked my pictures! I won't draw for you ever again mama!" 

You kept crying even after I went in to sit with you at the table..."I just want to draw you a picture so you will be happy with me, mama!" 

 Waves of guilt and shame washed over me.

 Sweet boy, I am always and will always be happy with you. Love you no matter what. I'm sorry I yelled so much. I hope the yelling isn't what you remember when you grow up. I hope you remember that even though I yelled that I tried my best to stop what I was doing whenever I could, to sit down with you and play or draw or build legos. 

I'm sorry if I forget you are only five and that you aren't supposed to be eternally patient.

Thank you for drawing me pictures, for letting me help you draw eagles (even though you said mine looked like a seal with a beak),thank you for forgiving me so easily when I stopped what I was doing, gave you a hug and told you that I loved you and your pictures and that I was sorry I was so grumpy.

 You wiped your tears and said, "it's ok mama, let's just draw!"

One little tear remained.

 I took a picture of it to remind me of my promise to try and stop yelling. To have more patience, and to stop what I'm doing more often and play or draw or read or hug or snuggle. Whatever it is that you want to do with me, I will try and remember that tear and this bad day. I want you to remember that I am happy with you, sweet Gavin, I couldn't possibly be happier with you. 

 Love, Mama


  1. Lovely, real, and raw. And so familiar to so many of us . . . tempers, yelling, reality, and (for the kids) moving quickly on to the work of loving and learning. Love your images as well!

  2. Liz, thank you so much for sharing this. What an amazing, heartfelt, and raw (there is no better word for it!) letter to your Gavin. wow. hugs!

  3. I identify with this so much - this was me yesterday. There's a lot more I want to say, but it isn't really important. Just know that this resonated with me on a very profound and humbling level. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Tears. This is so authentic and emotive. I think all mommas have these moments. When he looks back, he will remember the mama who gave hugs and Oreo cookies. He will remember his mom taught him that when he makes mistakes he apologizes and makes it right. <3

  5. Liz this is so beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes! You captured such real emotion that every mom feels at some point. Being a mother is hard sometimes, and I can't imagine trying to do it all on my own for any length of time with two, let alone four kiddos. Your Gavin sounds like such a sweetheart!

  6. Oh I cried at this, lots to identify with. Love your authenticity, I'm pretty sure this resonates with every Mama in the world. Hugs to you and <3