I mentioned that I don’t take it out on the Sage when I feel down. And I really don’t think I do, I make a conscious effort not to. If I am feeling edgy or bad-tempered but it’s nothing to do with him, I tend to apologise in advance – ‘sorry, darling, I’ve had a rotten day and I feel very irritable, so if I snap, it’s nothing personal, take no notice and I will say sorry afterwards.’
This is not, I hasten to add before my daughter issues a correction, to say that I am never bad-tempered with him, whether or not it is entirely his fault (for, surely, it is never entirely mine…..), though I do notice that when we are having a bit of a go at each other, my oldest and youngest child tend to side with him – my middle one doesn’t say anything. I can understand this, as I remember sympathising with my father (silently) if my mother was being snappy. And of course we have a ‘clearing of the air’ once in a while.
But, with this proviso, I aim to be good-natured nowadays. Until a few months ago, I quite frequently had several unhappy days at a time but, although people could make it worse, they could not make it better and so I kept quiet about it. You see, I can say this now as it’s over.
This long preamble – oh god, this is so like me, get to the point, woman – was setting the scene for what I’m really saying, which is that I have noticed many times that my bad mood might not upset the family, but my good mood certainly cheers it. Yesterday, as I said I would, I opened champagne, set out to charm, to engage Sage and Ro in conversation. And they responded at once. We all laughed, chatted, teased me when I said flutteringly that I wanted to be amused. Admittedly, my husband’s idea of amusing me was to bring a whole lot of silver spoons and get Ro and me to check the hallmarks and date them, but it was togetherness in its way……..and Ro told me lots of work anecdotes, which he rarely does….and we toasted marshmallows. They both complimented me, not only on last night’s meal but the night before’s too, which I had cooked but not been present to eat.
Is this the same in other families, I wonder? That the good mood of one person sets the mood of everyone? Not in a ‘thank goodness she’s not ratty tonight’ way, but in a positively cheerful, without necessarily realising why, way? Or is it just me?