Meltdowns are never pretty. Last night was no exception. It was 10 pm. The Borgias had just ended (season finale, not to be seen again until 2012, why Showtime? Why??) and I got up from the couch,(Sunday night is family TV viewing for us- HBO's Game of Thrones and Showtime's The Borgias, not for every family, definitely not PG, but works for us) I gathered my teacup, phone & plate and headed to the kitchen. This is what I found there: teabags left in the sink to stain the sink, a cup ring on the counter, kool-aid spill on the floor and an overflowing garbage can. Have I mentioned that I live with quasi-adults and not toddlers? It was the straw that broke the camel's back. I exploded. I pointed out that people should clean up their own messes and not leave them for me. That we are going to have bugs very quickly if they continue to not clean up their messes. And then I pointed out that it was time to put on the big kid pull-ups and start pulling their weight. And then I pulled out the big guns.
Me: *to Lu* You know what I was doing when I was 7 months pregnant with your brother? Working 40 hours a week and taking care of my own apartment. I worked days and your dad worked nights so I fixed all my own meals and extra so he'd have a lunch to take the next night. I cleaned the whole thing by myself and we went to the laundromat and grocery store on weekends when we were off.
Lu: I do help out! I did the dishes just the other day! And I do all the laundry.
Me: Laundry is your chore. You do not pay rent or groceries so you still have chores. And doing the dishes once a week is better than anyone else in this house, but its not exactly helping out. And when you aren't at work, you are asleep. I know you're tired, been there done that. Wait until your going through this with baby number 1 and 2 to take care of also. But a little more help is required around here.
Me: *to Sean* And you! You aren't even working currently and you don't do anything until I nag you! Your Dad was only a few months older than you when he was going to school half a day and holding down a full time job to get ready for his first child.
Sean: I thought about doing the dishes the other day, does that count?
Me: No. I appreciate the thought but you need to actually do them.
Sean: And having a baby on the way is probably a really good catalyst for responsibility. So maybe I should knock someone up. Wait?! Will they still let me go to seminary school and become an exorcist if I have a baby?
Me: Um, no.
And then I couldn't help it, I started giggling. Mostly because the thought of Sean in seminary school or as an exorcist is beyond ridiculous. Also because I'm pretty sure that's the worst reason I've ever heard for getting someone pregnant. *Let me state- for the record- he was kidding about both of those things* I ended my rant by saying that I was tired of being responsible for every one's business and I refused to nag them until they got their stuff done anymore (Sean's eagle project, Lu signing up for birthing classes and registering at the hospital) and that they were now on their own. Sink or swim time. I have got to get them to take more responsibility for their lives. Then I mentioned how I knew this little meltdown wouldn't do any good and I'd see them same place same time next week.
And with that I went to bed. In bed was where I read all the twitter updates about the horrible tornadoes and damage to Joplin, Mo. And then I felt like a wretch. Here I was yelling at my family when people had just lost theirs. Instead of being thankful for the fact that I have a home, plenty of food, and my family around me- I was complaining. I was not remembering that it can all be snatched from you in an instant. And I was not remembering to value them. Why does it take a tragedy to remind of us these things? And how can we learn to filter what's truly important from what's truly petty? I dont' have these answers. I struggle with this in my own life. I went back out and told them that regardless of everything I loved them all and I would try not to meltdown anymore. They promised to try harder to be more helpful (emphasis on the word "try"). And then I went back to bed and asked the universe to help me remember not to take what I have for granted and to be a better mother, better wife, better person.
Life is short and unpredictable.