Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the good the bad {and the ugly}

it's taken a few days for the dust to settle, but i think i'm back to loving my little asher as much as i did before he made me cry bawl my eyes out on mother's day. oh man, this little guy has figured out how to work his mother. he knows every button to push; and - sad to say - he also knows the weak spots, the sore points - the ones that when provoked, can evoke the biggest emotional reactions. he messes with these a lot. some days i let it roll off my back. but other days, well, other days i just can't do that. some days, {like on mother's day} i really take his behavior personally. i start to wonder where i must've gone wrong as his mother. i question myself, my discipline techniques. some days i am at a complete loss. and it's that utterly hopeless feeling that triggers the tear ducts every time.

sunday morning all ruby could talk about was how excited she was to sing to me in sacrament meeting. she had learned the songs perfectly, and in practicing, sang them just as beautifully.
we got to church early so we could get a seat right up front. i wanted to have the most perfect view of my little singing angel.
we hadn't been sitting more than 30 seconds, when asher started throwing a fit because i wouldn't let him go sit on the stand with his daddy. he screamed daddy, daddy, and then made a quick escape from our pew and b-lined straight to his father. i chased after him, caught up with him, grabbed a hold of him, and out the side exit we went. i knew a quick escape to the foyer {five minutes prior to the commencement of the meeting} was a bad, bad sign. i let him take 15 drinks from the drinking fountain, and after having a very serious and firm talk with him, we made our way back inside. but things just went downhill from there. he was crawling under pews...going from this lap to that one. running across the isle. climbing up on the benches. standing on the hymnbook holders. throwing tantrums on the ground. and then it was time. the primary children were called up for their special mother's day songs. asher screamed when i wouldn't let him go. he screamed and screamed and screamed. asher please no. no asher shhhhh. not now. please, please, asher please, be quiet . please. but to no avail. i grabbed him - but rather than exiting, and missing the songs altogether - we walked to the back. he wouldn't let me hold him though. he screamed until i put him down, and then he ran. he took off, and ran, and led me on a goose chase around the cultural hall. i felt ridiculous. my face was hot, my eyes started to sting, and i could feel a colossal lump creeping up in the back of my throat. oh no, please, don't cry. i finally caught up to him, grabbed a hold of him, and out we went. exit #2 to the foyer. i was going to miss ruby's songs. i couldn't believe it. i was going to miss her songs. and that's when the tears really came. first from embarrassment, and then it was sadness. it made me so sad picturing ruby singing to an empty pew, where just moments earlier, her mother and brother had been sitting. the more i imagined the scene, my sad tears turned to angry tears. i was so angry at asher. and i was angry with myself for having feelings of anger towards my own son...on mother's day, no less. i sobbed, huge, giant, ugly tears. i cried because i was embarrassed for myself, because i was sad for ruby, and because i was angry at asher. {that's three strikes, momma, you're out.} but i was not about to give up. i had one more solemn talk with him that went something like this: we are going back in there, we are going to be quiet, we are going to sit still, and we are going to listen. then firmly and immovable, we walked back in, sat down, and within 30 seconds, he was flat on the floor kicking and screaming. that was it. defeated, deflated, and devastated, we made our 3rd exit, but this time we marched our way through the foyer, out the doors, into the parking lot, straight to the car, and sped all the way home. now we were all crying.
when we got home, i put asher to bed {i told you he spends a lot of time there}, then i changed into my sweats, put my hair up in a bun, and lay on the sofa where i continued to cry. my sweet, {and perceptive} ruby, snuggled up to me, wiped every tear from my eyes, and repeated over and over, i'm so sorry mom. and then she colored me a special picture while i read from jeffrey r. holland's created for greater things and cried some more.
john called {he had know idea any of this had happened until my friend, sarah, filled him in at the conclusion of the meeting} and when he heard the despondency in my voice, he was home within minutes. i love a man who has his priorities in order. i should have been in primary, conducting and giving a presidency message, and heaven only knows where john should have been. but instead we were both in our pajamas, on our sofa, and in each other's arms.
then john and ruby opened up a spa. ruby called it the foot-spread spa. john called it spa r.a.d. {ruby asher dad}. they decided it would be open for business every sunday, and that i would be their one and only customer. mother's day was the grand opening. it was wonderful. they rubbed my feet and massaged my legs, and then {the best part} they warmed damp towels in the microwave, and wrapped them tightly around my legs. when a towel became cool, it was immediately replaced with a fresh, hot, steamy one.
john made me a delicious roast dinner {so tender, juicy, and full of flavor) with carrots and potatoes, and homemade pizzookies for dessert.
that evening i rolled around on the ground with my children, and we laughed as we wrestled and played. and then i thought to myself, this is really what it's all about. it doesn't get much better than this, does it?

i suppose i would never have come to that realization...had it not been for the day's challenges, struggles, and tears.

for how can one truly understand pleasure without ever knowing pain? or good health having never been sick? or appreciate the sunshine if never a gloomy cloud had hovered overhead?

i love something jeffrey r. holland said:

a life without problems or limitations or challenges - life without "opposition in all things, " as lehi phrased it (2 nephi 2:11) - would paradoxically but in very fact be less rewarding and less ennobling than one which confronts - even frequently confronts - difficulty and disappointment and sorrow.

so that's where my title the good and the bad comes into play...and the ugly part? well, i just threw that in there for fun. it represents my ugly cry...and my ugly tear-streaked face that so many unfortunate souls had to witness on sunday. sorry everyone, but i can't promise you'll never see it again. i have a feeling this is going to be a long {hard but wonderful} couple of years.


Celeste said...

sorry for the novel! i think this is the first time in years i've actually commented on someone's you!

Celeste said...

oh nicole, i can only say i can completely relate. i have left church on so many occasions bawling my eyes out for things ty has done {and you've been privileged to see a couple of them}. remember when on the day of the primary program ty punched sandra anderson in the face in front of the ENTIRE congregation? i sure do and will never forget it. i have those moments as a mother too {very often i might add} asking myself where did i go wrong in raising this boy?

i found great comfort in Elder Robbins talk in this past general conference where he said this "A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?"

it put things into perspective for me and hopefully it will bring you comfort too :) i love you nicole and if you ever need someone that can relate, a crying shoulder, or someone who TOTALLY and completely understands i'm here. xoxoxo.

Arlene said...

You were given an exceptional little girl to offset your exceptional little boy. We need to be more mindful of each other. Some loving Grandma should have jumped up and grabbed Asher so you could sit peacefully and listen to Ruby. It will get better, I had 2 boys - 16 months apart - tough years but somehow we survive!

Rachel said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I've been having trouble with my son lately and I needed to hear this. You are a wonderful mother. You're the only one who can give Asher what he needs and that's why he was sent to you. I truly believe that. Thanks for sharing!

natalie eve said...

i think the kids tend to act out on mothers day... and birthdays... and any day that is supposed to be 'special.' it's why i don't want to take the kids to disneyland... i fear they will be naughty as all heck and i won't be able to do anything about it, as in threatening to leave, because i paid so much stinkin' money to be there! haha.

i'm sorry you missed ruby singing to you. and i'm sorry asher embarrassed you and that you got so angry at him. i've been embarrassed and enraged with my emmi before. it's a horrible feeling. i STILL have never told cody about the time she was the naughtiest thing on the planet leaving the play area at the chandler mall. it gives me a pit in my stomach to think about the way she acted and the anger i felt towards her at that time.

i love the quote from elder holland. perfectly said. this life IS so wonderful because of all of the trials and challenges we face. we don't know how sweet our children are, until we see how naughty they can be.

you have such a wonderful support system at home. i wish i had a spa-r.a.d at my house!!!

asher was sent to your family for a reason. he is going to 'teach' you and john a lot, from the sounds of it!!!

love you lady.

Scarlett said...

Ok, I totally got choked up when I read your post. I was just thinking about my lil girl, and if I had to miss her singing......

Of course it is alot more traumatic for us than I'm sure it is for them, but still not easy.

Asher is quite the character. Thanks for sharing. I don't know you very well, but I think you are an amazing person.