It's no secret that I have an appreciation for good wine and cold beer, particularly when I am socializing or unwinding from an especially trying day. This practice has never been a great concern for me because I know my limits and listen to them...that is until recently when all the news started taking on this Jeff Foxworthy approach to diagnoses: "If you have 1 drink a day, you might be an alcoholic. If you drink before 5pm, you might be an alcoholic. If you drink to relieve stress, you might be an alcoholic. If you drink to make your family more tolerable"...and so on... So for the last couple of months, everytime I would crack a beer or sit back with a glass of wine, I'd start to think to myself "Is it too early in the day? Am I stressed? Is this ok? Could I be...?"
WELL! Let me tell you something! Today, I put that question to bed!
Here's what happened: By now, the whole world knows that my son Alex has Aspergers, right? And I and about a million other people can tell you that this particular diagnoses can lead to a rainbow of colorful, unexpected, unexplainable, infuriating and embarrassing situations of which we as parents and caregivers of these spirited individuals get to "work through". Today, I believe I've seen all of them!
No really...I honestly think he saved up the very best scenarios he could create over the last 9 years and unloaded every one of them on the world TODAY! And to make it all so much more bareable...every person who has authority over him (other than me) has apparently developed amnesia and couldn't recall Alex having anything other than an attitude and behavior problem!
Over the period of 24 hours, I have been sworn at, screamed at, insulted, ignored, belittled, embarrassed and walked away from. And that's just since 3:45! I won't even go into the stuff that happened before that.
But here's the thing...because I was able to stop, breathe, listen, empathize and remain in control; I was also hugged, heard, understood, respected, laughed with and apologized to. And at the end of the day...after we brushed our teeth and I tucked them into bed, we took 3 deep breaths and left all the bad stuff go so we could focus on a new, clean tomorrow.
...then I went to my room and cried, and now I have a tension headache that could take down a horse
...but what I learned is: I'm not perfect and neither are my kids. Yelling and screaming does NOT pursuade an angry child to get off the jungle gym. It's not possible to get angry "right". Kids need a break too and if I had tried to push the unrealistic goal of "perfection" on either of us, we'd only have ulcers and anxiety attacks to show for it.
So I let go of that need for total control, picked my battles, remained the adult and put my boys to bed happy and peaceful.
And the biggest win is, I didn't have 1 drink all day! So besides being a the best Mom I am capable of being today...I am officially NOT an alcoholic!
Here's to YOU if you screwed something up today and walked away smiling and having learned something! I'm proud of you!