Box Tops = Love?

Why would I spend an entire morning – a morning without children, my only 2 ½ hours a day without children to get things done 4 days a week – cutting out itsy bitsy little Box Tops for Education, taping them onto the school’s collection sheet, writing my attachment challenged son’s name, grade, and teacher’s name on them?  Is it because I’m that meticulous about the little things?  Nope, that’s definitely not it.  Is it because I had nothing better to do, that I was bored?  No, certainly there were better things I could have done with my time.  Was it because I find that sort of thing fun? Nah.

Normally we rip those things off the cereal boxes and throw them in an old formula container, and when it gets full, dump them in a baggie and one of the kids takes it to school and dumps it in a container there.  No cutting, no neatness, no collections sheets or names.  But in our school if you put them on a collection sheet, all nice and neat, and the child’s name is on it, they get entered into a raffle to win prizes.

See, I woke up this morning feeling like a horrible mom.  I am at the point where I really don’t like my kid, my kid that seems to love to torture me with behavior that drives me crazy, that seems to enjoy seeing me lose my cool on a regular basis.  I love the child, but I don’t like him.  I cringe when he starts talking.  This is not the place I want to be.  This is not the person I want to be.  This is not the PARENT I want to be.  But this is where I am.

So today, to show him I loved him, I did something I’ve never done for his two older brothers, ever.  I spent my entire morning cutting Box Tops and putting them on the collection sheets for him to take to school tomorrow so he can get 20 chances in the raffle of prizes.  Will he even notice, or care, at how much time it took?  No.  Will he say “thank you mom” or realize I did something for him I’ve never done for his siblings?  No.  If he wins a raffle will he say “thanks mom!” because I did it for him?  Nope.  But in my heart, I did something for him, something special, something I’ve never done for anybody else, as small as it seems, and gave up my entire morning for him, to show him that I love him.  Because right now, that’s all I got.  I don’t have mushy feelings, I don’t have inner joy at being his mother, I don’t have words of praise for him for “just being him”.  But, I have Box Tops today.  And tomorrow, I’ll find something else.

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