Song of the post: “Demons,” Imagine Dragons
The news came over over the police scanner. A funnel cloud was sighted in the county, everyone was encouraged to take cover and brace for a tornado.
My kids heard the news on their way to pick me up from work so I could use the car to go home later that night.
Mountain Kid 2 was nervous. He takes after his mother like that, always concerned about pending doom and expecting the worse of every situation.
As we unloaded the car, he yelled at some college kids hanging out on their porch.
“You better get in the basement, a tornado’s coming,” he said seriously as he shook his finger at them.
He’s already a gumpy old man, I thought to myself as I chuckled a bit. I imagined him going after people who let their dogs poop in our backyard.
“Get off our lawn,” he’d say in an authoritative voice of a 6-year-old. I don’t think he could look menacing holding a shovel though.
So the kids went inside and prepared for the coming storm as I drove back to work. When my husband said they set up shelter in a closet, I thought of anywhere except where it actually was.
I came home and found the light to the bathroom closet on. It was 1:30 a.m. so it was rather odd, so I checked out. I found a box of crackers and all of my boxes gone.
These were my boxes of home-repair supplies and Christmas decorations. Beauty supplies were either gone or put up on one of the stairs of the converted space.
It upset me, but I was OK with it at the time. The kids were protecting themselves. They thought this was a good spot to do that from.
“… don’t want to hide the truth/I want to shelter you”
The next day, I cleaned up a little around their new clubhouse. But something was amiss. Where did my boxes go? I later found them upstairs in my daughter’s room. My kids carried all of these containers upstairs.
And they weren’t done. My daughter told me of her plan clean out the closet entirely. At first, I went along with it. They needed the space to explore and do kid things. I got that.
But the more I thought about it, the more upset I became. The kids have taken up so much of my house, what’s left for me? This is my stuff. I organized it and cleaned it. What right did they have to move my stuff?
I lost yet another place where I can be me, alone. I used that closet to make phone calls and to cry. It helped me put on a braver face for my family when I was falling apart. And now they found my secret room and made it theirs.
The feeling of losing that spot sucked for a few hours. But then I remembered a receny talk with my oldest Mountain Kid.
“Don’t get too close it’s dark inside”
My kids where in the midst of cleaning, except one brave soul. Mountain Kid 1 was pouting about how cleaning sucked and she wasn’t going to do it.
Our response was “the faster you get this done, the more time you have to do other things.” We just got a new game everyone wanted to try, but we had to work before we could play.
I wonder how many times my parents had to put up with my same reaction to cleaning? I only liked vacuuming and using machines (lawnmowing).
My kids’ demons, problems they have with dealing with life, are things they picked up from me.
I did/do react the same way in certain situations.
So I looked at my pristine secret place that had become covered in pencil and fingernail-polish graffiti and sucked it up.
I claimed the shelves for the boxes the kids couldn’t move on their own. The kids get the other 60 percent.
I still have to find a home for those boxes that are sitting in my daughter’s room. And that’s OK. It’s about time I cleaned out my closet, emotionally and the physical one in my house.
“Your light it shines so bright”
My kids are amazing. I often get those “I wonder where they get that from” remarks. I know they got some of their good habits from me, just as I shared with them my bad ones. Yes, I regret the overworrying and perfectionism, but I can see how they have become much better than I ever was/am.
Besides their father, I hope my attempt to conquer my “demons” has given them something more than I had as a child.
Their lights shine so bright … I can’t mess this up.
So I continue to run and try to improve. I am doing it on my terms and it’s been really difficult recently. We now have three very active kids with their own personalities. Some want to be the center of attention while others want attention only when they see an opening. Finding balance without being too strick or too carefree is very difficult for me.
As an introvert, raising kids is very overwhelming, but I’d do almost anything to make myself more available to them.
I may have lost my secret spot, but I’m closer to finding my happy
As always, feel free to comment or hang out with me on Facebook by searching for “running mountain mama.”
I am also raising funds for Team RWB as a charity runner at the Marine Corps Marathon. To contribute visit Mountain mama for Team RWB.