Because we were all a bit snippy. Call it a belated full-moon energy crisis. Call it the clash of teens vs. mom. Call it whatever you want, but it happened today. Especially with my 18-year-old. Man that guy was raring for a fight. Sure, it looked like I Was The Bad Guy. Sure, it looked like I picked the fights. (I’m pretty sure I did.) But he had the audacity to stand up for himself and fight back. And so we did. We fought it out. Everything from his hair, to his tat’s to his too’s to his attitude were at stake. My parenting methods and percentage of freedom for the slaves that look like my kids…. well, those were up for debate as well. ( Thunderheads rolled in from the east, bringing overcast days and spatters of rain.) Our day was getting pretty cloudy.
The sun came out a bit when a girlfriend calmed down the teen side, and a phone call distracted the parental side. The sun came out overhead as well, and I thought the storm, well documented and predicted, was going to disappear. Nope. Nope To Both Storms.
Throughout the day, the energy just kept building at our home, and the skies seemed to show it. Each time I would look outside and see the clouds roll back in, I would remember a good point to bring to my son. Each time it would be a pretty bad idea, but I just couldn’t seem to stop. The argument would resume and we would battle with words and hand signals. I’m pretty sure we could have coached a baseball game, just with our hand signals. We have that in common.
By the time my son was ready to walk out the door for work, the lightning had started to work into the sky. Rolling thunder heralded the direction that the buildup of energy had taken. Rolling thunder plowed over the two of us as we stood in a face-off, red-faced and heaving, as anger built and built and built. Then it was time for him to leave. So he did.
I went to my room to huff and puff. My husband took my son to work, then came home with chocolate. It soothed my savage beast, and I calmed a bit. The thunder and lightning storm was slow and building, but I no longer listened or looked out the window. I watched, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, instead. No one, apparently, because they choked. So did I, as I played along with them.
The call came, late at night, that he was ready to come home, after a night of hard work. I felt trepidation as I took my journey to pick him up. Would we keep the fight alive? Would he give me the cold shoulder? Would he get in the car at all? On my way there, the most beautiful thing happened. A full and amazing lightning storm ripped across the skies the entire time I was driving. I pulled over twice so I could see the beauty of it. It wasn’t mean, or angry, or rude. It was a culmination of the day, and it got to release the energy so it could move on. And that was what happened when I picked my son up. The day’s energy was released into the air as we talked, not of the past, but of what happened at work today. We talked of his hard work, and his praise from customers and managers. We talked of his dreams and goals. And, he said thank you for picking him up. He said this just as pitter-patter of rain tickled my car. It dribbled and whooshed and ticked and rained down all at the same time in a grateful tune that was abundant in its gift. The gift of letting go.
As the skies let go and gave the neighborhood its rain, we let go of the anger and just let the moment be a sweet release. I loved it. I relished it. I grinned about it in the darkness of the car at 11:15 PM. He did not grin, but he talked, and that was enough.
The thunder and lightning and rain were sweet accompaniments to our moods and it deserved to be mentioned. And so I do. There is something to be said for big weather. Just like our relationships, the diversity is the star of the story.