Confession: Our mornings have been bad since school started back after the Christmas break.

I am not sure why. Maybe they were bad before and I hadn’t noticed. Maybe it took two weeks of relative calm for me to see how chaotic school mornings are. Maybe it’s the added element of a puppy, running around, grabbing shoe laces and pants legs, that is tipping things over the edge. I don’t really know. But what I do know is that my family is leaving me, leaving our house in the morning, not with feelings of happiness and peace, but with their stomachs in knots. And ultimately, it’s my fault.

This morning, I had the real feeling, not even a feeling so much as a knowing or acceptance, that they’d be better off without me. I am poisonous to their mornings. I am poison.

Why do I care so much if we are running five minutes “late” when in fact, five minutes late is still leaving 15 minutes before school starts? The school is five minutes away. We’re not even late, but we’re late according to me. Why do I care? Why can’t I be flexible enough to look at ALL of the papers from their backpacks, as we’re walking out the door, because they, because they are children, didn’t bring the papers to me yesterday after school? Why do I expect them to remember this? Why? Why can’t I just turn the boy’s bedroom light off myself, every morning after he leaves, and be thankful that I have a boy whose light is left on every day? Why can’t I just relish in the proof of life instead of feeling tortured by everything they do that is “wrong?”

They must think that they can do nothing right. They must think that my love is conditional. They must think they need to try harder to make me happy. How could they not? And what damage is it doing?

I want to be a source of peace for my family. But honestly, I’m poison. Many mornings, I say the phrase, in anger, “Every morning is the same!” And they are the same. Every morning is the same because I’m the same. They are the same because I won’t change.

How can poison become a salve instead? How can I change it?

There’s no happy wrap up to this post. No Bible verse to fix it all. And honestly, if you give me one, I’ve probably already read it. And guess what? It hasn’t helped. No plan of action. That’s not what this is. I don’t need anyone to try to fix me. Because I have to fix me. This is just simply a confession and a marker that I acknowledge how things are.

Sometimes there is simply healing in acknowledging how things are.