Today my wife left for Las Vegas to help out her sister do some painting and decorating of her house. She took Sabrina with her which left me with my two boys. This could have been a bad idea.
For those that aren't aware, my son Gavin and I have our issues. He is a loving and very intelligent child, but he has some obsessive compulsive issues that create a lot of stress in our relationship. I don't understand how he makes decisions or how he interprets the input from his environment, and often his reactions seem specifically targeted to drive me to the maximum level of crazy. Usually Marci is there to act as a buffer for me - when I reach maximum level of frustration, I can turn it over to Marci and she can take over while I cool off.
Needless to say, with Marci being gone for several days I was not looking forward to managing Gavin on my own.
However, tonight...it wasn't so bad. I had to take him with me to drop Caleb off at church for YM and then I needed to drop by Costco to grab a few things. Early on I got the impression that I should try really hard to just let Gavin be himself and not worry too much about it. As we went around Gavin continued to act in ways that would normally have driven me insane...nothing bad, just doing things that I usually consider annoying to others or unwise in public places...but I was ready to let that all slide by and just let it go. It was a surprisingly easy evening.
I'm not sure if I'd be able to manage that kind of zen every time we go out, and I had never even tried before, but it seemed to work out. Now if I can only figure out how to have the same kind of calm when there are things that are urgent or required and the resulting fallout when trying to get Gavin to go along.