Seeing Red and Totally Screwing Up

OK, I know I haven’t been here too much lately.  Life got in the way of my creativity.  I am happy to say that I am back and more than happy to be here (although this particular blog is not a reason to be happy).  Now, on with my story….

It’s not often it happens that I see red with Zach (or any of the kids, really).  I can usually tolerate his antics with a smile on my face and go on to the next antic without so much as batting an eye.  This one pushed me over the edge…

Today was Zach’s fee day.  I was looking forward to going and spending some time with Zach as he picked up his schedule, chatted with friends and looked at spiritwear as I caught up with some of the moms I haven’t seen since lacrosse and school ended.  I was looking forward to joining the PTA, the booster club and whatever else I needed to help support the school.  Once all fees were paid and all of our tasks were complete I was looking forward to a little breakfast out, just the two of us.

I arrived at school when Zach told me his football practice was over and waited and waited for him to finish. A half an hour later he calls.  I can see him down the row of cars and I answer the phone with a cheery “I can seeeee you.”  His gruff voice comes back, “Mom, I don’t want to be here.  You just go in and pay my fees.  I want to go home” …not what I expected.  We went back and forth a bit on the phone, looking at each other down the line of cars.  I told him I wasn’t going to go in and pay his fees without him.  He said he was still in his football gear.  I told him to change his pants and come in with me. I was sticking to my guns and wasn’t going in without him as I stood watching the stream of other football players walk in with their parents.  My hackles were raised a bit as I realized just how rude Zach’s tone was with me.  Zach turned, walked to “his” car and changed his pants.  As he was changing his pants Stan called to let me know he made it safely to Minneapolis.  I was chatting on the phone with Stan when I heard Zach approach, with a friend of his, saying “I don’t want to be here.  I just got elbowed in the arm at practice.”  And then he took his hand and slapped (and it was no light little “love tap”) the side of the car as he said “let’s go.”  My hackles are fully raised now.  I sat, dumbfounded, that he would hit the side of the car and expect me to follow after sitting, waiting, for him to finish football.

I told Stan exactly what happened and how irritated I was.  There was not much he could do from Minneapolis, except text Zach and tell him to come apologize to me.  I wasn’t going in to school until I got a face to face apology.  Instead, I got two phone calls.  Knowing full well that he was just being lazy, I texted him back and saying “You know what Zach, if you want to behave like a spoiled brat and treat me like crap you can pay your own fees.  I’m outta here.”  I went on to tell him he could pay his own fees with his own money, with the full knowledge that he has zero dollars.  I left school and went to Starbucks not looking back.  I was pissed and beginning to see red.

The further away from school I got the more red I saw.  I couldn’t believe Zach would treat me like that…me, the one who slips him gas money when Stan’s not looking.  Me, the one who takes him to Dick’s for a new, more protective, football girdle instead of the standard school issued one.  Me, the one who fixes him breakfast when he asks me in his sweet, little boy voice.  Me, the one caters to him way too much.  His gravy train with me is done, I thought to myself, as the car steered into Starbucks parking lot.  I don’t deserve to be treated like a doormat by Zach, my brain churned.  The red fire in my head was alight and not much was going to extinguish it.

I got home as my phone showed a missed call from Stan and a text.  I stepped out of the car to Zach approaching, in full bluster, not knowing exactly what to say or do but managing to do it all wrong.  He tried hard to apologize but he didn’t believe he did anything wrong so his apology sounded false and insincere.  He told me he didn’t hit the side of the car with his fist.  He told me he tapped the window with his fingers and waved at me to “come on.”  Not so, I responded and went on to lay into him with all of the thoughts that were burning in my brain.  “There was no light tap on the window.  You pounded on the door and I don’t deserve to be treated poorly by you.”  I went on to tell him he better start going door to door to find enough lawns to mow to pay his own fees.  I could see the panic fill his eyes but he still wasn’t backing down with a sincere apology.  He stormed off and I went on to sip my tea so I could calm down.  And Stan texted me again.

He told me Zach called him five times.  He said Zach was upset because I was upset. I called bullshit on that,     telling Stan that Zach was upset because he was worried he would have to pay his own fees, not because I was upset.  Stan responded with “OK.”  I guess he didn’t want to goad the dragon who was spitting fire…aka me.  I know he and Zach must have talked because Zach came down a few minutes later, completely contrite and issuing a sincere apology.

The fire went out.  I know I screwed up when I threatened Zach to not pay his fees.  That’s not how things work in this house.  We pay school fees.  They are a necessity and I really had no right to threaten him with that…threaten with taking away the car, the insurance, the luxuries but not school fees.  Damn, I screwed up.  Seeing red is not a good thing.  It’s time for me to issue a sincere apology of my own.

Oh, for the love of my children…

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