Second Chances

I’ve had a rough couple of days.  I don’t do well when stuck indoors for long periods of time, which has been the case lately.  Cabin fever sinks in quickly with me.  I also don’t do well with a toddler screaming every time that I don’t hold him and every time he does not get what he wants.  Add on that my middle one is sick, my daughters are having nightmares due to the season of beheaded zombies hanging from porches, and my husband has been working literally day and night for the past six days.  Sleep has eluded me.

I can’t help but hear Claire Foster’s line in Date Nightwhen she is confessing to her husband that she fantasizes more about being alone than leaving him for another man, “There are times when, on my worst day, I’ve thought about just leaving our house and going someplace, like checking into a hotel. Being in a room all by myself, in a quiet, air-conditioned room, sitting down, eating my lunch, with no one touching me—drinking a diet Sprite, by myself.”  Insert Dr. Pepper for Diet Sprite and she’s described what I long to do on days like yesterday.

Checking in to a hotel would have been much better than the breakdown I had yesterday morning when my husband was finally off from his 16-hour shift at work.  The worst part is that I selfishly was upset over my circumstances and here my husband had just worked a 16-hour shift of running around physically caring for people.  I was acting like a brat, honestly.  Still my husband kindly took my ever-screaming son and let me go and cry.  That’s love right there.  Just a few minutes to cry in peace with no one touching me.

Crying helped, as it sometimes does.  I still felt pretty pathetic though for being such a ninny about my plight instead of tending to my husband’s well-being.  Sometimes we have really bad days at work and they last longer than we’d like.  That happened to be the case for both of us this time.  He handled it gracefully, I handled it poorly.

Later, I was listening to a song called Second Chances by Gregory Alan Isakov off of his album The Weathermanand this one line hit home, “if it weren’t for second chances, we’d all be alone.”  How many second chances has my husband given me and I him, I wonder?  These last few days have been a series of second chances.

I’ve had a second chance at putting my daughter’s minds to rest before they fall asleep, a second chance to figure out how to properly discipline my son for his uncharacteristically difficult behavior, a second chance to look at my husband’s needs and sacrifices on our family’s behalf, and a second chance to not beat myself up over every time I guiltily wanted to walk out the door for even a couple minutes of peace from the chaos.

I hear all the time that I should cherish this time, as it will go quickly.  I already know it goes quickly.  I already miss the days that my eldest was a tiny baby.  I do my best to treasure every moment with my children, as I have known people that have lost their kids unexpectedly.  The very thought of losing my children makes me physically ill.  But is it really so bad to want the moments of yanking and pulling, incessant screaming, and blatant disobedience to move by a little faster?  I hate that I feel guilty for not enjoying these moments like I’m “supposed” to.

Life is such a conundrum, isn’t it?  I remember when my Mom first passed away, I wanted time to speed up so that I could be old and die and be with her again, while I simultaneously wanted life to slow down so I could take in every new baby smell and giggle from my girls.  I suppose the same goes for the action of cherishing this time with my kids.  I want the tantrums to speed by and the precious moments shown below to stand still in time.

Thankfully, my children, just as my husband, give me second chances.  They forgive me for all the wrong choices that I make, my unnecessarily raised voice, and my blindness to times that they just want my full attention and nothing more.  As Amy Krouse Rosenthal writes in her children’s book One Of Those Days, “Luckily, every single one of those days eventually turns into night.  And every single night turns into a brand-new day.”

So, here’s to a new day of second chances!  Without them, we’d all be alone.

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