When life gets you down from environmental stresses, it’s not always easy as a mother to fight off depression and be there for our children.
Yesterday, in my miserable sorry assed state, I reflected upon how I had been running my life lately.
My biggest struggle in all of our financial adjustments has been cutting out extra-curricular activities for the boys. What I realized is that I have to develop my new role as mom/camp counselor or it is going to be a very long summer.
After picking up the boys from school I screeched to a halt below their school road, parked vini-man and took the boys on a hike. Having been met by such resistance to anything lately, I was surprised that they were actually excited to go exploring with me. They have not been enthusiastic about doing anything unless they have their friends with them.
We hiked up to a scree field and they had a blast climbing all over the rocks, getting filthy. They engaged in the activity of splitting rocks to see if they could find any jewels inside. Axel has always had the keen ability to find very cool treasures in the wilderness like the time he pulled out of a Snowmass creek a brown polished stone that we recognized as being a gizzard stone from a vegetarian dinosaur. How cool is it that dinosaurs treaded right where we were standing millions of years ago? What’s even cooler is that we now have the Snowmass Mammoth Discovery Center to interpret what we find.
When they asked me why there was volcanic rock everywhere in the scree field I took an educated guess and talked about how the volcanic rock from deep in the earth had been disturbed by the slide, ending by telling them what I always tell them, “Let’s look it up online when we get home”. If only I had an Iphone to give them accurate answers to all of their questions. Than again, I prefer to be disconnected from the electronic world when I am with my children.
When Thumper scared himself by thinking he found a hibernating bear in a little cave, he came running toward me, fear on his face, tripping over his wet, untied, high top sneakers. He was certain that he saw something breathing and wanted to leave before we got attacked. Axel, not so easily convinced, crept up and looked in. “It’s just a rock,” he stated reassuringly.
After our hike we went to the market. Last time we were in the market Thumper had a really hard time. The first thing he managed to do was to accidentally fall against a pyramid display and end up with a heap of cans in his lap. Next he picked up a six pack of glass Orangina sodas and the cardboard broke. As the bottles went crashing to the floor we heard over the loud speaker, “Clean up in aisle 13”. At that point he looked at me and started to cry. He was so frustrated that he was doing everything wrong and told me that he needed to get out of there. I couldn’t really blame him. I looked up and saw a friend of mine in a fit of giggles, she had witnessed everything and was getting a real kick out of spying on me and my boys. I was glad that we had been such a source of amusement for her in such a mundane place.
This time at the market things went a lot smoother, apart from when they lost all of my quarters in a candy vending machine. It is so annoying that markets strategically place vending machines in the front of their facilities to tempt our children. I looked at my three dirty, shaggy boys in their tattered clothes and unkempt hair and demanded that they get their money back. I refuse to do their dirty work for them anymore. The sooner they learn how to function on their own in the real world the better. They shyly approached the customer desk and asked for their money back. The woman was horrible to them but gave them what they asked for. Another lesson learned on how not to waste money.
In the market I had a real awakening. My children were growing up and I was no longer enduring frustration and anxiety when entering a large public place. No more lost children, tantrums or bathroom visits. They took care of themselves and each other now. When I forgot my environmental bags they ran to the car to get them for me conscientiously avoiding cars. I recognized that my hard earned efforts were coming to fruition as I observed my big, responsible, charming, albeit shaggy, boys help me out in the market, without being asked.
At the end of the day I happily collapsed into sleep at a reasonable hour. This morning I pounced out of bed like Catwoman. Sometimes a melancholy day can truly work wonders on your constitution.