Only two days into the New Year’s shofar wakeup call, and already I’m acting like an asshole.
I yelled at my kids this morning because they woke me up singing Tudo Bom at the tops of their lungs at the unholy hour of 7:38 am while they paraded through the living room beating the tops of the scotch canisters we use for our drum circles.
I do not like to wake up before 8 am. (Actually, I do not like to wake up before 10 am.)
People who wake up before 8 am by choice and face the day with a smile and a perky “good morning” can go fuck themselves.
I also do not like the song Tudo Bom, which means “It’s OK” because it’s a bullshit song and it is NOT ok.
If you’re an Israeli mom or dad and you haven’t told your kids to STFU when they’re on their ten millionth rendition of this song then 1. I call bullshit. 2. If you legit don’t do this, then you’re a way better parent than I am. (You probably also like to wake up before 8 am with the sunrise and the birds, with great hair and your breath smells like honeysuckle and roses, and you probably didn’t forget to brush your teeth and wash your face the night before, and go fuck yourself.)
I am sure you don’t have mascara smudged under your eyes right now.
I am not this person.
I do have mascara smudged under my eyes, and I am wearing the same thing I wore last night, and my hair like like something a horny hummingbird on crack built, and I swear, I’ll be good with another hour of sleep, but that literally requires another hour of sleep.
And I let my kids know this.
It began respectfully: “hey guys, could you tone it down for another hour or so.”
It escalated quickly.
I slammed the door.
One of them opened the door, and then slammed it harder.
I got up and did the same only even HARDER because when it’s before 8 am, I don’t want to be the grownup, please child.
Then, they started laughing. You know how kids have such sweet laughter where it sounds like marry little Christmas bells in a Disney cartoon? Yeah, well, at 7:49 am it’s all sinister and shit like Lord of the Flies.
I put the pillow over my head.
A few minutes later there was a knock on the door.
“WHAT?” The walls shook.
It got very, very quiet.
My daughter walked in with a cold can of ice coffee – the kind I love and save for Saturday mornings after 8 am.
She walked out without saying a word.
I drank some of it, and stumbled out.
The kids looked at me and laughed with my mascara smeared and my hair all fucked up, and the same dress from the night before.
“Don’t even say it,” I said.
“You have your period, don’t you,” my daughter said.
“Period Zombie!” my son yelled.
I stalked into the bathroom and took a shower.
I came out and there was a wrapped tampon on the counter, a little prezzie just for me.
I got dressed and went out into the living room where the kids were playing with their Playmobil.
They were playing family – the two kids and the Period Zombie mother.
“GRRRR I’M PERIOD ZOMBIE!”
“NO PERIOD ZOMBIE, DONT EAT US!”
“Is that supposed to be me?” I asked.
I watched them battle Period Zombie with tampons and chocolate, and I finished the ice coffee my daughter brought.
And around 8:02, I started thinking.
Before New Years, I made this list in my mind straight from the heart about all the things I want to do differently. How I want to be kinder, and more patient. How I want to be more gentle, and more present. And here I am, two days into the New Year, the Gates of Awe wide open, and I’m acting like an asshole.
And I watched my kids – my annoying, adorable, loving, pain in the ass, amazing kids playing ‘family’ – happy enough to make noise in the morning, empathetic enough to bring me my coffee, understanding enough to take out a tampon for me while I’m in the shower, and confident enough to make fun of me while I sit there.
By 8:05, I’m feeling pretty good about that.
I’m also realizing that every day is a new chance to get it right.
And being forced to wake up – whether it’s from the Shofar blast, or a drum circle in your living room at the ass crack of dawn – may not be a choice. But you can choose what to do with being awake.
You can go back to sleep, or you can get up and slog through the discomfort long enough to start seeing all the good.
And so this is what I’m doing with it: I’m awake. I’m taking stock.
And from my armchair in the living room next to the window with the light pouring in at 8:07, I see that I’m doing something right, because the kids are alright, and I’m alright too.
But I can be better – I can be kinder, and gentler, and more patient and more present. But that isn’t just a decision I make on some arbitrary day, but part of a process I need to choose EVERY day, and how lucky I am that each fuck up is an opportunity to say “I’m sorry,” and hit the reset button.
“Hey guys, I’m sorry for being an asshole earlier” I told my kids.
“Tudo bom, Mama. We’re just glad you’re awake.”