To my husband,
This stage of life is hard and we both make mistakes. But, the truth is – parenting sometimes doesn’t bring out the best in either of us. So, I’m I’m sorry for what I said when I was parenting.
I’m sorry I said the kids were great until right before you got home.
The last ten minutes before you pull in the driveway sets loose THE CRAZY. Someone throws a sucker punch, swipes a toy, or empties the miscellaneous basket with the loose Barbie accessories, holiday Happy Meal toys, missing puzzle pieces and a few stray Fruit Loops all over the living room floor. And someone is always screaming.
I’m sorry when that someone is me.
When my parents downsized their house, my mom seemed overjoyed that she could finally unload the boxes of memorabilia she’d amassed throughout my childhood. My husband received a similar delivery from his mom when we got married. Both were unsentimental send-offs of stuff to the rightful owners.
We moved these unopened boxes from apartment to apartment to finally our first home. They sat stored in the basement for months until one night we decided to dig in and purge. In his, we found a stack of juicy notes from two high school girlfriends, a truck collection, and loads of football and hockey paraphernalia. In mine we found art projects, scrapbooks, my troll collection, and, at the very bottom, a lone trophy. As I carefully unwrapped the newspaper surrounding that golden girl set atop a metallic blue pillar, it brought me back to the summer of 1992.
The air was frigid, even though it was mid-July. The gray sky loomed ominously as I snapped a swim cap over my head and shoved my ponytail into the tight rubber rim. I looked around. Only two other swimmers had shown up, so I had a lane to myself. I stretched my goggles over my eyes, dipped under the water, and propelled myself off the wall into my warm-up. I was 11 years old and I had my eyes on a big goal.