There are times when my parenting seems to be on the upswing. Without much thought, each day flows relatively uninterrupted into the next.
Even on those upswing days, there are bumps along the way. Perhaps there is a grumpy mama rushing 3 boys to head out the door in time for school or name calling by one or all of my boys, which results in a flood of tears, apologies, and acceptances.
Those upswing days seem to offer a quick recovery from those slight mishaps and we move forward.
But then there are days when the parenting pendulum rebels. It no longer desires to reside in the upswing neighborhood. It hops in the car, switches to reverse, and drives until the sun seems to disappear and it arrives in the dark land of downswing. And in that seedy neighborhood it finds days that run into the next without much joy or appreciating. There is discontent, arguing, and regrets.
When the pendulum lands in the downswing hood, I muscle all the strength that I can find and I wrestle that swinging sucker down to the ground. There's nothing like trapping that dangerous rebel and halting it's harmful effects.
Such as when there are multiple days of stress in the casa de spencer.
Charlie seems particularly sensitive to the shift in the pendulum. He's my pendulum monitor. I read him and know which way it has swung. When he seems to slowly melt down and crumble, it is my duty to turn things around.
After I dropped all 3 boys off at school one particularly emotionally charged morning, I sent a text to Kevin.
"Taking Charlie on a date night tonight."
There's nothing like changing plans in order to be with a little that needs some extra love and time with mom.
I kept it a surprise despite his constant clue begging until we pulled into the bowling alley parking lot.
"Bowling! My favorite!" Charlie exclaimed.
We bowled and I secretly tried to take pics of him with my iPhone because I didn't want this to be about a photo opportunity.
I didn't want a single thing to distract from my attention on him; not even quality photos.
After our game, we headed to his favorite restaurant where he shared some kindergarten gossip and told me his made up version of knock-knock jokes. We even indulged in a warm brownie topped with vanilla ice cream. Date nights always call for dessert.
As we drove home in a quiet minivan, I felt triumphant. The pendulum was back in the upswing, as was my heart--where it belongs.
Linking up with Jami today.