Every week, the kids and I count down the days until the Friday when we can all be together. After dance class on Thursdays, everything moves into a slower, more relaxed weekend pace. It’s going to be a great weekend, we’re thinking. Traditionally, when Big Brother doesn’t have to take off for a weekend at his mom’s, we eat a fun family dinner, while watching a movie together by the wood stove. The youngins head to bed slightly later than usual, since Papa Bear and I are feeling more chill than our usual weekday state. Big brother can normally be found watching a season of something he’s declared the best show ever!!! while tossing down some snacks…this week’s choice was mango and doughnuts (I’m just grateful that part of it was actually food). And me and my other half and our pint-size bundle of ‘I like to sleep between the hours of 8pm and 2am’ head off to catch up on some much needed banter that we didn’t have the energy or time to delve into earlier in the week. It’s going to be a great weekend….
In my memory, the best Saturday and Sunday mornings are coffee and chirping birds on sunny days. It’s what I remember most about visiting this old house as a child, when I would look out from the upstairs window, out over the rooftop, and feel the warmth of weekend sun on my face. That memory, feels like happiness to me. I can remember the smell of strong coffee, the way my grandparents liked it best, and I remember scurrying down the stairs, hand sliding on the round railing handle, going so quickly that I could skip the last two steps and land with a thud at the bottom. My gramma would be there, dressed to impress, in the itty bitty kitchen with my great-aunt, making cheese and toast. I guess that’s how I fell in love with cheese and toast….
Fast forward 25 years, and here I am in the same home, with my own crazy family. I wake on sunny weekend mornings snuggled in bed with our new baby and Papa Bear, and aside from the nights when I receive very little sleep, I feel pretty lucky. We get up sometime after the usual weekday time to the sound of kiddos watching morning t.v., and head downstairs to make coffee. That’s where we seem to hop into the downward spiral. Somehow, all of the things that we, all of us, have been dreaming about doing, somehow turns into a grumpy argument, and ultimately, we spend the weekend hours in conflict resolution mode…accomplishing nothing…not even enjoying the nothingness.
And then our weekend hopes and dreams spit in our faces right before they wither and die and explode into teensy bits of shrapnel. It seems Big Brother doesn’t want to help with the family clean right now, but would rather have cleaned this morning, so he storms around muttering under his breath while cleaning the glass doors. Little Brother is whining constantly for snacks and he refuses to help pick up just one toy from the ground. Wildflower, although she finished her chores, is now bossing her brother around, who isn’t listening because he doesn’t want to take his laundry to the bathroom, and the dog, Kevin Bacon won’t stop barking or stealing the things that we have already put away. Papa Bear doesn’t know how I put up with this all week long, and since he’s so fed up with the family musical of grumbling, barking, and whining that he throws in the towel and heads upstairs to count backwards from ten before he LOSES it, and there I am, sitting in the middle of it all, nursing a baby, wondering how in the hello we will ever have a great family weekend.
Now here comes the part where I lay out the magical solution I’ve discovered. Peace has come to our family, and we hold hands and skip every weekend….only I’m not that cool.
I don’t have it figured out yet, but this weekend, this one has been …ok. 6/10 maybe? Versus last weekend’s 3/10 (no one died, we ate food…that scored us a 3). So here’s where I’m at for anyone who may be looking for a similar resolution.
There are six of us now + dog. That makes 6+dog to consider…hopes, dreams, and grumbles. Gone are the days of waking up late with just my love, myself, and Big Brother, who was then, the only brother. It’s not easy to drink coffee in peace, let alone go out for breakfast anymore. Plus, we have hopes and dreams for our home, projects to complete, art to make, and sometimes, that just sounds like work.
So we’ve realized two things….what’s been lacking, like in all good quarrels, is communication, but bringing that word up again is going to mean five sets of eyes (I threw in baby’s and Kevin’s for comedic effect) looking at me in that ‘yes dear/mom’ kind of way, so I proposed an email. Yes, amish mama has stepped into the 21st century and started a never-ending list of weekendry email thread where we each list our hopes, whether they be work-related, at home projects, family cleaning, outings, wishes for yummy snacks, and I dare say, this weekend hasn’t turned into an all out brawl. In fact, the list is currently being wrapped up by this blog post early on Sunday afternoon.
The second thing I try to keep in the back of my mind is that the times that we argue the most as a family, are the times when things are great. When we have very few worries, when everyone has everything they need and some of their wants, when our lives feel balanced, we have a tendency to knock it out of whack because I guess, we humans have a thing for self-sabtoge.
So there it is…a bit of honesty…me laying it all out there, so that I’m not lumped into that ‘look at me, I live a fantasy life’ kinda blogger….
Until next time,