March SOL Challenge–Day 8
Yesterday was one of those days. When my kids were little and had a bad case of the “can’t help its”( when nothing was right with the world and whining and tears reigned), we’d say, “If they’re crabby, put them in water!” And we’d pop them in the tub. It was pretty much a no-fail intervention. They loved communal tub time and 3o minutes in the tub got rid of the grumpies and some sand, dirt and general crustiness as well.
So last night when I came home from school feeling as surly and prickly as a sea urchin, I took my own advice and headed for the tub. Book in hand, I filled the tub with steaming water, shut the bathroom door, and shut out a less-than-fulfilling afternoon in the classroom. It had been one of those days. Lessons felt awkward or unfocused, students were off task, even a bit sassy, and my stress level hovered in the red zone. A looming teacher visit, approaching grades, conferences, umpteen meetings and the general work load just felt like way too much. So to detox, I headed for the tub.
Back in those long ago days when my children were young, I also headed to the tub for stress relief. I’d hand the kids over to my husband and sneak to the bathroom with my book. What followed inevitably went something like this: I’d immerse myself in the tub and feel the stress begin to recede and my breathing begin to deepen. Ahhh. Then someone’s little footsteps would patter down the wooden hallway.
“Mama?” Bang! Bang! Bang! “Mama?”
“Mama? Mama! Mama! Mama! Let me in!” Bang! Bang! Bang!
Then, my husband would yell, “Leave Mommy alone!” and
Thud. Thud. Thud. come remove the child from the door. Crying ensued and quickly amped into screaming. Sobbing.
“Mama! Mama! Mama!”
In the bathroom I would close my eyes and sink slowly down, down, down into the tub. Until my hair floated in a cloud about my head. Until the water seeped up, over and into my ears, muffling all exterior sounds, and then lapped at my cheeks.
Patter. Patter. Patter.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Relaxing it wasn’t.
Last night I was able to sit in the tub and read for as long as I wanted. No small hands beat at the door. No warbling voices called for me to let them in. My hair stayed dry and the house was silent. I let the stress of the day ease away as I steeped in hot water. It was wonderful…but also not. My surliness evolved into sadness. I miss my babies.
It was just one of those days.