It took me a bike ride, a pilates class and a steady 30 minute breathing exercise to calm my anxiety and tension this morning.
Perhaps it was the hangover of the bad taste left in my mouth from a meeting about the dream house, the frustration at our goodwill for turning up for the fifth time with an agreed agenda to only have it kyboshed by the seller to his own, and this time very emotional, one. The whole process is now tainting the soul of the very beautiful house I fell in love with.
Perhaps it was that, lingering on my subconscious that made my usual calm way of dealing with a tantruming 7 year old (I thought they stopped that behaviour at 4?!) disappear after half an hour of calm negotiation to get dressed and out of his blanket toga, to clean his teeth rather than lie in the middle of the kitchen floor wailing. With the aga turned off due to the heatwave, he could no longer warm his pants, socks, shorts and shirt and this threw him out of his routine and into a flat spin.
I didn’t realise my voice had raised to match his, until Tom, clearly at 9 years old, the only adult in the room, said “Stop shouting you two! You are stood next to each other!”.
In that moment, I breathed and heard the words “Raise your words, not your voice”. But I was up against a screaming, high pitched voice on a loop saying “you horrid, Mummy! You nasty, Mummy! I hate you!” And with 1 minute to go until he was due to get in his lift to school, I had to shock him out of his catatonic state. It was a controlled yet firm smack to the soft part of his bottom. And those blue eyes, steely, stared at me in surprise. But he was quiet for a moment to hear me ask him quietly to get ready as he needed to go to school.
60 seconds later, peace reigned loudly and I was left with my head in my hands, shaking at the kitchen table. Mortified at my actions, adrenalin coursing through my body.
I turned on the TV as a distraction: the headlines that 22 people had been killed, mostly children in a cowardly suicide bombing terrorist attack.
All thoughts of dream houses gone, no longer important and put in to perspective. And I had just smacked my child while others mourned the loss of theirs.
It took me a long meditation, a bike ride and a pilates class to calm down. To forgive myself, for I know I must. To remind myself of all the good things I do as a mother.
It was only on the bike ride home from pilates, that as I free wheeled through the buttercups, daisies, pinks, spring grasses and cow parsley, I let it all go. The anxiety, the tension, the smack … and the dream house.
For 5 months I have dreamt of this house, but it now feels tainted and time to let it go. Let it go so that we leave space for something else to come in to view. Or as Woody Harrelson said in Indecent Proposal about Demi Moore, “If you ever want something badly, let it go. If it comes back to you, then it is yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never yours to begin with.”