The Mayor had a really hard morning a few days ago.
He picked a fight with his Dad on the way out of the house and, after we dropped K off at the train station, he kept the fight alive with me.
When he shifted his aggression towards me, I was not the best parent.
I allowed myself to be drawn into the battle.
[and so on.]
"No I didn't."
"Yes, you did."
"No! I didn't."
By the time we got to his school, he was completely defeated and utterly sad.
He held me for much longer than usual when we said our goodbyes.
His eyes were red, nearly spilling over.
"I love you forever and ever and always no matter what," I said.[Because that is what we say in our family when we struggle.]
I held him for a long time, but eventually pulled away.
After I closed the door, I looked back through the window and saw that he had fallen into his teacher's arms sobbing.
I hesitated, but ultimately, kept going.
Throughout my morning swim, I felt sad.
I went to work and dragged from meeting to task to conference call.
Why get into a battle of wills with a four year old and insist on winning?
What a jerky thing to do.
Heavy sheets of dreary rain fell steadily all day and I continued to feel bad.
Finally, I got up from my desk and drove to his school.
He followed me to a corner of the room far away from his friends.
"Is it o.k. if I play for a little while longer?" he asked when he saw me.
"Um... can I talk to you for a minute?" I asked.
"I'm sorry we struggled this morning, Mayor," I said. "I've been feeling badly about it all day and I've been missing you. I was hoping you and I could spend a little bit of time just by ourselves. We could go do something and then come back later to pick up your sister."He gave me a big hug.
We went to the post office and mailed a box together and then drove to a restaurant for a to-go order of his favorite tater tots.
Nothing magical happened, but I think we both felt better.
On our way back to his school to pick up The Rooster, The Mayor said,
"You love me forever and ever no matter what."
"That's right," I said. "I do."