We have all done it. That momentary (or not so momentary) freak out when we can't get in touch with our children or spouse. I have to admit that I had just such a moment last night. In hindsight, I will admit that my reaction to the situation may have been a little over the top. I blame a crazy week filled with stress, a long day at work, and the stress of the season. My oldest daughter is having some digestive issues. She threw up at school...again. The school nurse and I are on a first name basis. (And not just because we work together sometimes.) So I have to call in to work...again. Stress. Stress. Stress. My daughter is taking after her mother and internalizes her stress. She is working her way up to an ulcer. Stress. Stress. Stress.
So she needs mommy to be home more because "mommy is never home". Stress. Stress. Stress. I decide to put her first and move to part time, but this means I have to tell my boss that. Stress. Stress. Stress. I forgot to bake cookies for Paige's Christmas program. Stress. Stress. Stress. Christmas is ten days away. Stress. Stress. Stress. You can see where I am going with this.
Last night my husband came by work to switch cars. He needed the car seats. He left the keys in the car he left me so he wouldn't have to come into my work. Which is fine, usually. Except this time he failed to ensure that the locks on the car didn't engage...which they did. So he heads to pick up the kids from daycare and on towards home. I try to call him a couple times to check on Adelyn and the other kids. He never answers. Ok, that's fine. He is probably busy. Everything is fine until ten o'clock that night when I get off my shift.
I walk out to my car like every other night. Except this night, my car doors are locked tight and I have no way of getting into my car. Ok, that's fine too. I will just call Brian and he will come unlock the car. No answer. Strange. So I try calling him about twenty more times. Still no answer. I can feel that slow burn in my stomach. I know it is worry combined with anger. Oh, is he a dead man when I get my hands on him. It is now 10:30. I decide to give him fifteen more minutes before I call AAA to unlock the car.
But in that fifteen minutes before I call and the half hour after as I wait for the locksmith, I start to have some thoughts. Where is he? Why hasn't he noticed that I am not home yet? What if they are all in the hospital because of a car accident? What if there was a botched burglary attempt and they are all tied up in the basement with a crazed gunman? (I think I watch too many crime dramas...) What am I going to throw at his head when I finally get home? I know it is not rational. I know that there is probably a perfectly good explanation for his inability to answer a phone. (I can't WAIT to hear it...)
The locksmith finally pulls up and in a flash I am in my car. As I start pulling out of the parking lot, who pulls in but my husband. In a flash, all that worry, stress, and exhaustion combine to make a near cataclysmic rage. Gone is the worry for his and the kids safety. Why should I be worried about him, I am going to tear him apart. If you look up the definition of rage, you will find this: "rage: violent, uncontrollable anger." That was me.
I was so angry I didn't even want to hear him speak. To be honest, once I heard the explanation of the location of his phone, I am still upset. The worst part is that he made me worry. I don't care that I had to call AAA. I don't even care that I sat around for an hour and fifteen minutes at work after I got off my shift. (Ok that is a lie. I do care.) But the worst really is that I was imagining all these terrible things that could have happened to my family, and it turns out that they were all just fine. Why do we do that? Worry and worry and worry but when everything turns out ok we get upset because we were worried.
It is not his fault I was worried. Ok, scratch that. It is not ALL his fault that I was worried. I will remember that next time, or at least I will try... I make no promises... Well, really I am only human.