When Will I Learn How To Be Serious?

I stayed up late working on some volunteer material with a deadline, and had to wake up early to get ready and get the boys off to work. I also had an appointment with my good friend, Nahid, first thing in the morning. I had begged her to come and tell me where to put my two new art pieces on the wall. In the bright daylight, I looked around and there were dirty plates, cups, glasses, water bottles, soda cans, t-shirts, shoes, exercise weights, wet towels, dry towels, books, CD’s, etc. all over the kitchen, living room, family room, the hallway, and the bathroom. I was so mad I started yelling at the boys about the mess and how embarrassing it was for me to have a guest in this unkempt home. It must have been a good day for the two of them, because they had decided not to engage in the shouting match with me, as they often do, so they were actually relaxed and smiling as I went around picking things up, ranting and raving. At one point I was complaining about how unfair it is to have to clean up after three people, as I was picking up astray items and adding how none of those things belonged where they were placed. My older son said something about how I needed to relax, and I yelled: “You guys are slobs! My friend will be here any minute and this house looks like a mess! I can’t believe how irresponsible the two of you are! This is so unacceptable!” and with every word I was getting louder and louder. My younger son asked suddenly: “Mom, do you know where my bag is?” and I said: “Yes, sweetheart, I saw it downstairs on the dryer.” The three of us were quiet for a few minutes, and the two of them busted out laughing at my sudden change of tone and demeanor, in the middle of all the yelling. I turned my face to the side, so they won’t see that I, too, was laughing. When we were in the car, my older son kept laughing aloud. He said: “Mom, you’re just like me, you yell and then you forget that you were angry. You’re no good at this.” I was laughing, too, but I made sure they didn’t see me laughing, trying to appear angry, serious, and “in-charge.” I laughed for five minutes after I had dropped them off.

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