Back to the days of Pooh

"I swear that old bear whispered 'boy, welcome home!' "

That lyric is from Kenny Loggins' "Return to Pooh Corner." My teddy bear growing up was a stuffed Winnie the Pooh without a shirt that I called Herman (I have no idea why).

Before Michael was born, I bought a small stuffed Winnie the Pooh that made a squeaking sound when you shook it. One day in the bedroom we had prepared for our soon-to-be arriving son, I held that bear in my hand and was overcome by the impending changes that were in store for me. I had a Winnie the Pooh growing up. Now, my child was about to have one, too.

"It's hard to explain how a few precious things seem to follow throughout all our lives ..."

Last week, I got so angry with Michael. I co-op all day at the boys' school on Tuesdays. Even though I try to get to bed early Monday night, something usually gets in the way, often a freelance project. I love co-oping, but it is draining when you are already tired. Tuesdays are the craziest because the boys have had something after school -- swimming, baseball or basketball. I drive the boys home and try to get a 15-minute nap just to recharge for the rest of the day. But lately, Michael has been plaguing me with inane questions when he knows I just want to rest. "Can I have some [insert healthy food here]?" "Dad, there's no string cheese left?" "Can I watch a video on the Nook?" I just want to sleep, and he's waking me up by asking me questions he knows the answers too. And last week, I finally got so angry with him when he disturbed me again, that I started yelling back about him being selfish.

Apparently, this tirade cut deep, because he retreated to his room crying. I was too irritated to rest, and when I realized he was in his room, I went to talk to him. And hugged him. And said I was sorry for yelling, and explained why I got so mad.

As we were wrapping up our discussion, I saw it -- the small Winnie the Pooh. I haven't seen it in years, but somehow, through the chaos of the boys room, it bubbled to the surface (missing its shirt -- another naked Pooh). I picked it, shook it a little to hear the squeak, and remembered holding it almost 10 years earlier. I was almost overcome again. I felt bad I got so mad at Michael. My time with him and his brother is too short to be getting so angry over little things and not to appreciate how lucky I am to have them in my lives.

I can be a parent, praise them, tell them what their doing wrong, and not be so quick to let them piss me off. They will be out of the house one day. It's coming, and I can't stop that. I don't want to waste any time between now and then. And getting so annoyed is wasting our time and energy together. I want to remember this lesson with summer upon us. The days are too precious.

"Believe me if you can I´ve finally come
Back to the House at Pooh Corner by one
What do you know there´s so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky ..."


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