The trouble with spilt milk…


Is that sometimes it really is a big deal.

Somewhere along the highway on a long drive home with a rather tired, overwhelmed and overthinking mum at the wheel and an equally tired 4-year-old chattering and fidgeting in the back (from endless play in the countryside and a fabulous weekend of freedom and treats and movies and good laughs) and even after one cup of milk had already been deposited into a flower pot on the seat next to him (seriously, I don’t fucking know, so please don’t ask), cup no.2 of milk made its way onto the backseat of mummy’s luxury-brand media car.

And I lost it.

Truthfully, I don’t often get upset. Ask friends and family; I’m a very calm person (on the outside). I never yell. I don’t get red-in-the-face angry. Honestly, I loathe confrontation and fights. So, yelling at anyone, most of all my own flesh and blood, my son, was something I couldn’t fathom.

But I did.

Not in a raging, vein-sticking-out-of-neck yelling way. I don’t think I even have it in me to do that. But definitely in an angry, uncharacteristic way for mum to speak to son. I’m not proud of it. And I hate that he became the brunt of so much more than spilt milk on a car seat.

It had nothing to do with his accidental spillage, which he truthfully remedied almost immediately, picking up the sealed cup that had only dribbled a minimal amount on the black leather seat. His wide eyes in my rearview mirror revealed just how unreasonable I was really being. And yet I continued.

I wasn’t chastising him so much as the situation.

“I told you to be careful!”

“Didn’t I warn you to watch out and be conscious of the milk and know that it was there?!”

“You saw what happened last time you swung your arms around like that!” (At least that’s how I assume the last cup of milk ended up in the flower pot … )

“Why weren’t you more careful like I asked you to be?!”

And as the asinine questions came pouring out of my already quivering mouth, the tears welled up and I realized it really was about so much more than spilt milk.

For the better part of three weeks now I’ve been dealing with a veritable tsunami of emotions internally. Trying to get through each day without either breaking down into gut-wrenching sobs or conversely punching someone in the throat for being obnoxious or saying something insensitive.

It’s horrible.

I have terrible moments of complete weakness where I find myself curled up in a ball, tears flowing, with absolutely no ability to make it all stop. Because it all comes crashing down on me in those moments and the sheer level of emotions I feel are just too much for me to handle. Thankfully, those moments pass. But they are intense.

Spilled milk is a shock. It’s not supposed to happen. You’re aware it COULD happen, but it’s not supposed to. You don’t want it to.

Life is full of shocks and surprises and uncertainties, and no matter how much we try and prepare ourselves, sometimes it’s just not enough.

That’s when I realized the questions I was blindly shooting back at Owen, who really didn’t deserve it in the least, were directed at me.

“I told you to be careful!”

“Didn’t I warn you to watch out and be careful?!”

“You saw what happened last time… don’t you remember?”

“Why weren’t you more careful like I asked you to be?”

Upon this sudden and abrupt realization, I went silent as I drove the rest of the way home. Tears silently falling down my cheeks. Owen staring forlornly out the window. I think I may have turned the music up ever so slightly to drown out my own thoughts a bit and the sound of me sniffing quietly.

A meaningless cup of spilled milk brought about a wave of emotions I’d been harvesting for too long, clearly. The feeling of being desperately and completely alone, and readjusting to my new solo life and time, as well as accepting what I knew was coming all along. Accepting what I could not change. So “why bewait what is done and cannot be recalled” as the saying goes.

I should have been more careful. I saw what opening up to someone did in the past. Why wasn’t I more careful with my emotions, my heart, like I promised myself I would be in the beginning?

Now that it’s done, now that the change has occurred, there’s also nothing more I can do about it. Metaphorically speaking the liquid has escaped. Nothing I can do, say or feel will put it back. Absolutely nothing.

This arrant liquid on a car seat represented the lack of complete and utter control I had and have over it all, and it crushed me in that moment. As the dairy product dribbled down the seat in whatever direction it wanted, I realized that was a pretty accurate description of my life; dribbling down in whatever direction it pleased no matter how badly I wished and hoped and begged that it would just stop making a mess, please.

Exiting the highway and coming to a set of lights, I reached one hand back towards Owen. Immediately his little hand was in mine, gripping tightly. We stayed like that for as long as I could safely drive and hold that position.

“I love you, bud.”

“I love you too, mummy.”

The trouble with spilt milk is that sometimes it is so much more; however, we have to remember that once it’s done it’s done and cannot be returned to the cup, and it can always be wiped up and cleaned, no matter how far down the dribbles and drops travel.

~ by drivingmsmiranda on May 15, 2016.

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