After we got over our fight, I asked my mom, "Did you ever hide in your room with the covers over her head when Tom [my brother] and I were little?"
"Yes, honey," she answered. "Of course I did. Everybody does. And you and your brother turned out all right."
This is exactly what I needed to hear. Truly, I remember a lot about my childhood. I remember all sorts of good stuff. I remember Mom occasionally losing her temper. But, I do not remember, ever, a sense of weepy, out-of-control crazy. I was never, ever, scared of my mother.
And, I needed to hear that today. Because today was hard.
I have to get a stupid MRI to rule out any stupid neuro-degenerative diseases, which I'm almost 100% sure I don't have. I think I carry the baby too much, which results in some tingling. Just in case, we're scheduling the MRI. Which means I need to tangle with the insurance people, because, as the nurse told me, "Your insurance does not guarantee coverage."
Additionally, I am no longer able to take my son to swim lessons without giving the people at the Naval pass office three drops of Paul's blood, five major forms of ID, and a kidney. They are making it more challenging to get to a military pool...in response to 9-11? I don't know. All I know is that it's more mindless hurdles that I'm not in the mood to jump.
Finally, we're going to North Carolina tomorrow to see Paul's brother and his wife. They are nice people, but packing drives me into such a rage of panic and overwhelms me so completely that innocent bystanders who call to check on their grandchildren sometimes get the brunt of my frustration.
So, yeah. Sorry, Mom.
After apologizing and hanging up the phone with Mom, I sat on the deck while Joel napped and Owen played with his pipes. I was looking at a spider web, which stretched from the top of the house all the way to our grill, a good four feet at least. It sparkled, gossamer strings swaying gently in the breeze. If a spider had the determination to create these beautiful snares, I figured that I could at least summon the moxie to salvage the morning.
I decided to take both boys, for the first time, to the public pool. I don't really feel like explaining everything that happened, because it was, nice, but uneventful. Both boys played. Both boys smiled. The water was cool, and nobody cried. I felt a bit more capable.
I suppose that this, in it's own small way, is my Independence Day. I'm trying to escape the tyranny of my dark mood and petty frustrations, and if it takes some chlorine and sunscreen to do the job, than so be it.
In its own way, choosing to shake off a bad mood, is, in fact, revolutionary.