They were wild the other night. Spun up on sugar and a day full of being indoors, months of being indoors. These have been months of being only outside until you couldn’t stand the cold any longer, which is like five minutes or twenty, if you are my oldest son.
And then it was birthday night at church last night so of course cupcakes at 7pm are a perfect recipe for hyper little boys. I picked them up. After the neon yellow and orange shoes flew across the lobby while one refused his sweatshirt and the other refused his gloves, we headed out into the zero degree night. Our boots crunched over the icy snow as we stepped out of the warm glow of the church building. Before I could catch my breath from the bite of the bitter cold they were both off, down the path into the inky dark night of the parking lot. My heart caught in my throat because they don’t know how dangerous the dark is. Every time it is like this…with boys who are primed and ready for adventure but a mama whose trying to protect her nestlings as they learn to fly.
The younger one, he is more likely to listen to mamma’s pleas, he slows, returns to walk with me down the path toward the car. The older adventurer, he is out of sight. My eyes scan the shadows urgently, needing to know where to look. Then, thank you, Lord, the tip of a red hat behind a huge snow bank bobs up for an instant.
“Make it a game. Relax. Have some fun.” I tell myself because I know I worry too much and I don’t want my boys to just tune me out because mamma always spoils the fun.
So the youngest and I loudly wonder where oh where has that big boy gone?
Then, just as we round the end of the snow bank, ready for a surprise and a laugh and a sigh of relief that I didn’t loose my every loving mind when he ran and hid, that boy of mine threw a snowball. Right. In. My. Face.
I was so surprised I could barely breath. And it was so cold. I wanted to explode but somehow, instead…
As my face stung and I caught my breath.
They asked me why I was laughing.
Because, dear sons, if I don’t I will dissolve into a puddle of mamma tears and fire right here in the dark parking lot.
I think laughing was probably the best thing I could have done just then.
And then we got into the car. I have to confess, I was still steaming but once I was able to calm down we could discuss why icy snowballs in someone’s face in the dark are dangerous and not a good idea.
These boys of mine – I love them wildly, of course, but it still amazes me how they can push my buttons. I’m working on remembering to laugh, when I want to scream, and to find a safe way to release my emotions. And then to talk through the issues with my boys. This is one of those places I’m being refined by the hot fires of motherhood.
Have you ever had a moment where you thought you might implode? What strategies do you use to diffuse in those situations?