It was close to two years ago in October of 2013; we had moved into a condo and had only been there a few months. We were all still adjusting to a new life as a divorced family. Looking back, even though I thought I was doing “fine,” there was a cloud lingering over me. New people, new place, new schools, new way to decorate the house and new trick-or-treat routes.
Everything was different. Even the way Halloween decorations looked was not the same. I knew my boys were missing their old house, their friends and our traditions.
What did not change was the same old five pound bag of mixed candy from Costco, filled with mouthwatering treats only bought once a year. That has been our staple item for Halloween for years. And of course the boys always trying to get ONE more piece of candy in their mouth as I was taking the bag away finding another hiding spot.
This particular day, I was leaving my work, excited to sit by the fireplace, grab a cup of tea and “kick back”. It was gloomy, doomy cold day outside. The thought of warm tea, a blanket and a book was the treat I was looking forward to.
The moment I opened the door, I knew we are having a problem. One of the boys’ backpacks was thrown behind the door and was caught and stuck. Shoes were everywhere; jackets still on the floor. Our 10 pound Cock-a-poo dog was energetically jumping around the mounds of the stuff laying on the floor. As sitter was leaving, I took a deep breath, dreading the dialogue that would follow with the boys about cleaning up, being organized and keeping the space clean.
As I walked through and laid my purse on the kitchen island, there it was. The candy bag lay opened with what seemed to me to be a pound of wrappers spread around. I could not hold it any more. Frustration resurfaced as I yelled, “Boys, get down here!”
Their chocolate faces appeared. They knew I was not a happy Mom. I picked up the bag of candy, ‘threatening’ serious dental surgery, cavities, horrendous dentition and punishment if one more piece is gone. And at least they could have thrown the wrappers away after “committing the crime”. Serious clean up followed.
Thirty-some minutes later, after the house was picked up and looked “in order”, I was relieved and excited to relax. As I headed to the sofa, there it was on the cleaned kitchen island space: three Snickers wrappers and a yellow Post-it note reading “Ha Ha! I just ate this! Prepare to Be Annoyed”. I bursted out laughing.
It was written by my son, Daniel, my spirited kid who always seems to find ways to make my heart smile.
To this day I have a picture of this note on my desk as a reminder to the possibility of finding humor in what we experience as life’s frustrating moments.