I’ve been struggling lately with Shabbat. Bill has been working on Saturdays, in order to take advantage of increased foot traffic in the store. I can understand his desire to do this, but it has turned what’s supposed to be a day of rest and reconnection with family into something quite different and quite difficult. The main trouble, I’d say, is that Gideon has a hard time napping when Akiva is around, even when Akiva does his best to contribute to a restful atmosphere at tuck-in time. All it takes is one giggle, and the two boys get themselves and each other going.
This past Saturday was such an occasion, and I couldn’t get Gideon to sleep at midday, even though he (and I) badly needed that nap. When I realized it wasn’t going to happen, I asked them to give me a little space so I could take a break. I went downstairs and within the course of maybe ten minutes, they had emptied several file folders from my file drawer, scattered baby powder all over the bed, and torn pages from a beloved (out of print) book.
I lost it. Lost it.
In a moment (a long moment) of sheer insanity, I screamed at the kids in some horrendously foul language, shaking my fists at them and stalking them from room to room. I did not, thank G-d, touch them, but there was violence enough in my words and my feelings. The combination of circumstances awoke a boiling rage, the likes of which I don’t remember feeling in a long long time. Maybe ever.
In recounting this incident to other mothers, every single one — to a woman — has copped to doing the same thing. Although my remorse is strong, it helps to know that I’m not the crazy one. At least not the only crazy one.