The other day my 4-year-old, Grace Hannah, spent an entire time-out muttering that she couldn't kick the grumpies. It appears she came by that stance quite honestly. I am, in the words of the immortal Dixie Chicks: not ready to make nice/not ready to back down/still mad as hell/not willing to go 'round and 'round.
All afternoon I've been the emotional equivalent of a preschooler. I can't reign it in, can't throw my grumpies in the garbage. Someone is bullying me and I just want to spit. Really, spit. How mature of me. But it's so primal, this ire, and why lie to compound the sin? I want to roll around kicking and screaming about how unfair is the situatuion. I want to make a scene and make a point and make a chocolate cake and eat it all by myself.
My mother-in-law used to listen to my stories of some small injustices the girls had to endure at school. I thought I was mad at that time, my mother tiger coming out with claws and such. My husband and my people KL and Caro have undoubtedly done more than their shares of listening to my slightly obsessive irksome issues with the real estate career resentment/predatory broker paranoia/horse and neighbor crankiness. But none of those have come close to truly hitting where it hurts in my life. When people call me a name or call into question my character, I feel a little rush of justifiable anger. When others bully my children, I know exactly what button is pushed. I have a few skills; I can swim with the sharks for finite periods of time. But this, this new venture, has taken me to a depth where it appears my snorkel gear can't save me.
And how many metaphors can I cram in the clown car anyway?
I am trying to explore this emotion without pointing any fingers or revealing any details that could come back to haunt me with the thought police. Suffice it to say, it's not just my kids being bullied or my commission pilfered. This time I feel the weight of ten families' paychecks and attendant mortgages and gymnastics lessons and grocery bills. I feel the lies we've been fed are poison that spreads by some unseen channels to infect even those who never were suckered by the bald mean untruths.
So sometimes on even the most picturesque, puffball-clouds-in-a-blue-sky-day, it'd be better if I never contemplated this relationship I must continue. It'd be better if I said to myself, self, you're just going to get madder than hell and spiral down from there. It does nothing for logical thought nor productive action. It makes you into an ugly version of yourself. So if you're not ready to "make nice," maybe you should do that other cliche you missed in yesterday's blog: fake it 'til you make it. Self, fake nice when you can't make nice.
The baby is asleep in my lap. The neighbors are mowing. C's husband changed the locks (six of them; talk about *nice*) at the office today. Shelly kept the big girls after school today while I was in town -- so they got to chase Shelly's boys around their property all afternoon. The beaver spared her plum and peach trees. My chicks are getting bigger and Two Spot's still gaining weight even though the vet said it might take the weather warming at night before he'd make progress. My list of blessings is long and good to contemplate.