My friend G calls me on Saturday sounding very glum.
She had yelled at her stepson.
"I just lost it," she laments.
And she proceeds to regale me with the tale of the rather horrible fight that they had at the breakfast table. She then tells me what a terrible mother she is.
"All parents yell at their kids at one time or another," I say to her. "We're only human and sometimes no matter how hard you try to be patient you're going to lose it and you're going to yell."
We talk for a while longer. I have no idea if my words reassure her (particularly in light of the fact that I'm really wiped out and fighting some kind of bug. I have no idea if I'm making any sense at all.)
I imagine that no loving parent wants to yell at their kids (I certainly don't), but sometimes patience finally takes a flying leap out of the window and there you are...you find yourself doing the thing you dread doing...yelling at your kid.
My mom is not a yeller.
Not at all.
But every great once in a while my sister and I would take her patience to it's very limit and then send it right over the edge. It took a lot of doing. She's a pretty patient person. But when she reached that breaking point.
And the funny thing is that when she finally broke, it was only to yell one single word...
And that was it for my sister and I. Whatever it was that we were doing to aggravate her stopped immediately. If we pushed my mom to yelling that one dreaded word we knew that we had pushed too far.
It was absolutely terrible to hear.
I know it can't have been pleasant for my mom either.
I wonder now if she got on the phone with a friend to lament having just yelled at her kids.
As much as I would like to think that I'm never going to yell at Schmoopie and I'm certainly going to do my very best not to yell, I'm positive that one day in the near future I will be on the phone with G lamenting the fact that I "just lost it" with my kid and G will try her best to console me.