I have supersonic hearing.
I can’t tune out noise.
I’ve cried before from a particularly gnarly subway and bus braking screech or loud-ass ambulance sirens that felt like someone was yanking out my intestines.
I empathize with children who have sensory issues as I probably do, too.
I feel so strongly that if I am at a gathering and someone is pissed the F off, I cannot just enjoy myself and laugh in the corner.
I absorb others’ energy. I used to cry when I witnessed public proposals, once even hugging the couple I didn’t know. When I see someone crying on the subway, I feel their sadness and depending on the situation, I offer them their space, a tissue, or some words.
I say all this because as a mom, it would help to be able to tune out noise.
When I asked Kevin how he doesn’t get as flustered as me sometimes, say, when he takes the kids grocery-shopping by himself, something I haven’t done in ages, he explained, “Oh, I tune them out sometimes. It’s great. You should try it.”
“Really?” Because I have this supersonic hearing and other sensitivities, I can NOT tune out my kids OR tune out other kids’ noises.
Also, when I’m spending time with my kids and they are not otherwise engaged or fighting, I try to teach them a li’l something by engaging them in conversation or when they were younger, even setting up a simulated kidnapping/Stranger Danger situation on our walks, which they enjoyed way too much, asking me to do it again and again.
This means that I am constantly engaging or repeating myself and it has got me fried at the end of the day. “Don’t touch your sister. Back up. Don’t climb that. Walk to the side of the street. Watch out. Don’t jump. Mind your manners. Focus.”
This is my job as a Mom. I want them to hear my voice when I am gone.
So yesterday, we had a marathon afternoon after school let out.
Kids’ noises galore at the library, homework time for each son with my reminding them to stay seated even with sensory delights everywhere, my stroller can’t get past other kids’ backpacks strewn all over the floor, my kids are happy but fooling around with their friends and the energy is amping up, and other details too boring to type out.
We part ways from our friends. We stop for snacks I had packed as we stroller over for our dentist appointment. Another kid walks by with his mom and he kicks a rock as kids are prone to do and it hits me smack dab on my bony, ashy foot. It hurts.
I growl as the mom apologizes. I’ve been her before yet I still growl while sweating from the heat and then judge myself for becoming real crabby like a baby during his witching hour. If I can cut out this judging of self, or at least reduce it lots, I’d be better off. Micah tells me that the rock-kicker was his classmate. I feel bad for growling at him.
I pass by familiar faced moms who seem to be way more patient with their kids for doing kid stuff like squeal and run off.
As I was going to bed after Kevin and I got to watch “This is Us,” and laughing to myself about how these days, “binge-watching” is equivalent to watching one show to completion, I said,
“Kevin, I feel like the angel and devil on my shoulders are always fighting and it is f*cking exhausting. Kids are blessings, kids are blessings, kids are TRULY blessings but I can also hear myself repeating silently, kids are so annoying, kids are so annoying. You know a counselor once told me that I should practice holding opposites in tension…something about both being true and being okay with that.
My brain already went to bed, I don’t know if you even know what I’m referring to. I just feel bad that I go to kid gatherings and think, Damn, kids are so annoying…when they are such blessings!”
Kevin looked me square in the eyes in the dark with our two fans and AC going:
“Kids are annoying as F.”
What a perfect, pithy gift. Husband spoke my love language and gave me a belly laugh.