Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’m a perfectly cheerful, friendly human being.
One percent of the time, I’m bitchy.
I feel like I’m always being judged on that one percent. All the good things I do count for nothing compared to the bad. No amount of tender loving care erases the moments of weakness.
I’ll run errands with the kids all day, patiently keeping them entertained and in check, then in the last store I’ll break and snap at them – only to notice someone staring at me and wondering what kind of mother these poor children have.
I know my kids will never remember all the times we painted, or went to the park, or played Sorry all day long, the way they’ll remember the time I screamed at them to shut up while struggling to park the van, the way I told them that was enough TV for one day, the one time, one time, I didn’t look when coming down off a stool in the closet and stepped on my daughter’s leg.
I’ll be kind and gentle (but firm) with the children all day, taking full advantage of teachable moments, but when my husband comes home from work and I’m rushing to make dinner and handle homework and keep everyone from killing each other, he’ll hear me tell the kids to get out of the kitchen RIGHT NOW and he’ll say that’s a little harsh, isn’t it? and I’ll look at him with daggers in my eyes and I’ll know that out of all the great moments of the day, this the moment we will have to discuss later this evening.
I like to think that I am not so snap with the judgements, that I can make room for other people’s weak moments in my life. That I can put things into perspective and be generous with my thinking and believe in the basic good of people who sometimes do bad things.
But I’m sure I have done the same, been the same. Formed an entire opinion of someone based on a passing instant in a shop. Made huge assumptions about a family member’s mood or intentions based on one comment. Thought back to a holiday and had it tainted by one bad word by someone I met in passing.
I need to do better. I need to be better. Be the change you want to see in the world.