Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In which I am shown to be a bad mother

Well, the weather today is far better (for me, at least) since it is beautifully overcast and gray, and the air coming in through the open screen door is quite cool. Some might even call it cold! I think it's about 61 degrees -- a far cry from the 106 of last week. I'm wearing my bathrobe over my pajamas and still feel the chill! Lovely.

However! I am still not happy right now, but it's a different sort of unhappiness. This is the anxiety and guiltiness and freaked-out feeling that I get when I do something that I consider to be wrong. And I forgot an appointment for my son, which counts as a failure as a mother. The office called me yesterday, so I remembered, right up until Joe came running in to ask if he could spend the night at Conner's house. I acquiesced! Gave him permission, even though Conner's house is an hour's drive away. Forgetting completely not just that he had an appointment, but that he had an appointment that his regular therapist had urged me not to forget. Bad mother! Bad, bad mother!

Part of my brain, of course, the part that always wants to cover for me, keeps squeaking that I didn't do it on purpose, that I forgot it, that I can't be blamed for forgetting, etc. But of course I can be blamed for forgetting. When I was about ten I used to get a spanking every night for forgetting to take the garbage out. The thought behind this punishment, which seemed so unfair at the time, was that the memory of pain sharp in my mind would keep the garbage sharply there, as well. Since of course I remembered right up to the time I went to bed, but kept putting it off because I was reading a book or playing a game or doing something that I did not want to interrupt -- or, in actual fact, because I was very frightened of our basement, and did not want to go down the long open-back staircase into the dim, cool, grey room with lots of dark corners, odd smells, and places for Things to hide. Thus, I had had lots of chances to do the right thing and take the garbage out before the timer of bedtime had rung and found me wanting.

But since I have nothing that I am afraid of this time, I wasn't putting it off, and I couldn't do it when I thought of it instead of putting it off, since it couldn't have been done until today, anyway, so...? How can I be construed to have done anything wrong? Should I always look at my computer calendar before I say yes or no to anything? What, really truly, did I do wrong? I did, actually, stop and think of possible commitments, when he asked, and this one did not rise to the surface of my mind, so how can I help it, really? This time?

Oh, but I am a bad, bad mother....

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