Have you ever been in the midst of a project nearing completion and had to stop and walk away? If you are mom, I am sure your answer is "Every FLIPPIN' day." Most of the time I take these interruptions in stride. Yesterday however, I was so focused and let's face it, excited to be almost finished with yet another birthday project, that every interruption set me off. Maybe it was having the finish line in site, maybe it was the heat over 100 degrees, and maybe I should have seen it coming with all of my self imposed deadlines. Every time I sat down to sew, something would happen to call me away.
Mark was one such situation. Mark has never been good at occupying himself. From birth he has always wanted/needed direction and someone to hang around with. That's just him and I recognize it, deal with it and expect it of him. Most of the time tasks, projects, chores and friends keep him busy, but not yesterday. Yesterday he needed mom. I tell myself it is good my teen wants to spend time with me, because I know it to be so. But no matter how many times I said this to myself, yesterday I was annoyed. Yesterday, Mark wanted to build something.
Mark and I often spend time building things together. We both enjoy these type of wood projects and enjoy working together. His expectations were high and despite my best efforts he could not understand that we just couldn't build 2 bird houses and a bat house with the few scraps of wood we had. Therefore, an argument started that put us both in a foul mood. Secondly, it was not the type of day to be doing hot, sticky, sweaty work. With the heat soaring over 100 and no breeze to be found, we were both sweating profusely, which only added to my irritation. Thirdly, I was apparently a hindrance to his ability to get things accomplished. Hmm. (Funny now that I look at it. We were both irritated with each other for perceiving that the other was preventing us from accomplishing our goal. Coincidence? I think not.)
Wanting to spend time with my son; I bit my tongue when I would have normally struck out. This prevented any further arguments but also prevented most of our normal bantering back and forth. It was sad really. Many of our projects, all of our projects are not so much about finishing the projects but about sharing a common experience and love of doing things together. Even though this project was successful from the stand point that the bird house was completed. It was a complete disaster in terms of relationship experiences. It all ended with Mark snapping at me, slamming the door in my face and ignoring any disciplinary actions I might have taken. I guess sending him to his room until college probably wasn't possible anyway?!
Later, when both our tempers and our bodies were cooler, we talked and discussed our reasons for being angry. We developed a plan that we both could work with. Today we are off to the hardware store to get more lumber for the bat house and something to hang the bird house with (that sucker is heavy). Wish us luck.