While walking around inside Costco the other day, I was struck by the “Open” sign they offered to sell. “What are you doing?” My husband asked. “I don’t know why, but this sign is telling me to snap a picture of it…” I replied, snapping the picture before continuing to shop. I suppose the neon red letters drew me to wonder, just what was opened, when that sign was turned on: Possibilities? Hope? Someone’s wallet? Then I wondered if I would ever have the need to own a sign like this.
The fact of the matter is, there is always an “Open” sign in my life…only mine is implied; not a continuously bright set of neon letters above my head.
I have to be open to hearing what my children are telling me, regardless the subject matter….
Like this morning when the boy announced he didn’t feel well.
I have to be open to the realization that the boy is capable of telling the truth, even if I’m not willing to listen..
Like this morning when I made the boy go to school regardless his protestations about his stomach irritation.
And I have to be open to the possibility that I might not have all the answers…
Like this morning when the school nurse called to notify me she was sending the boy home.
As I bundled up Mary Alice and started my car to warm before we left for the high school, I wondered why I was so adamant he went to school this morning? I mean, in the past I’ve given him mental health days off from school, just to give him a break. What made today so different? Simply put, since the new year, he has not attended a full week of school due to weather conditions. Neither has anyone else, but that didn’t seem to matter. I guess I didn’t like the thought of him being sick or worse, his need for me to “mother” him while he is sick.
When I arrived at the school, I approached the sign out desk and explained why I was there. “Oh your his mom…yeah I saw him this morning and he looked awful”. “Well…he didn’t have a fever…” I tried to deflect-even though I never bothered to check. “Yeah he’s usually bubbly and today, not so much and very pale” She continued, yet all I really heard her say was what a horrible mother I was. As a way to defend my bad decision I offered, “He can be a hypochondriac” even though I meant to say “dramatic”, essentially throwing my son under the bus further.
I didn’t want to be seen as a close minded mom/bitch who sent their kid to school sick.
In fact, at that moment I wanted to turn off my open sign for good and close the hell down saying
“Can I get a Mulligan for the day? A do-over? Anyone?”
So I admit, my open sign is a bit faulty-obviously. It’s flashing neon, not by design, but rather by the inherent need to not be bothered-by a bad decision or an unwillingness to pay attention to the obvious…
Or maybe…the boy and I are both simply having a bad day.