Well maybe not change my life in a profound way like almost crashing in an airplane would, but it did make me start thinking about things differently.
It happened this morning, after I dropped the kids off at school. I was walking back to my car when I heard the loudest, most horrible blood curdling squeal you could ever hear. I turned around and behind me I saw a toddler lying on the side walk flapping around like a fish out of water.
It immediately brought me back to when my kids were the ones cleaning the sidewalk with their backs. I remembered those days and I remembered when I wanted to run away and pretend like the child wasn't mine.
I will never forget the time my son had a tantrum in the supermarket and an old lady just looked at me straight in the face and laughed as she walked by us. At the time, I thought it was rude, thinking how could she laugh at me during such a traumatic experience. But today, I realized why, and it was such a self-confidence-building-kinda- feeling.
She laughed because she knew what I was going through. She knew that in the grand scheme of life and raising a child, a tantrum was one of the easiest things you would have to deal with, but it was an important rite of passage in parenthood. She laughed because she could see my future and she knew this too shall pass. Her laugh wasn't meant in a malicious way.
And she was right about it all. It passed and I survived. And looking back on it, I can laugh now too. I can laugh about the time my son threw himself on the floor, kicking customers at the butchers because I wouldn't let him have another piece of worst. I can laugh about the time my daughter screamed bloody murder and began slamming her head against the wall at Ikea because I was trying to put her back into the buggy.
I can smile now when I see a random child hurling themselves down on the ground because it reminds me that I am a survivor. I am a good parent, maybe not the best, but my kids don't need the best, they just need me.
I will carry this with me through my parenting journey and remember it each time I am faced with a new challenge. I will remember that "this too shall pass" and to just be patient. And I will remember that all the important lessons in life my kids learned by having tantrums. It's all a process of phase after phase, and as my kids grow, I will grow with them. Just like I did each time they had a tantrum. I went from the cringing, embarrassed mother to a mother who knew exactly how to handle the situation.
From now on, I will smile every time I see a child having a tantrum and most importantly, I will pat myself on the back.