It was a morning from you-know-where. Hubs was away on business, and I was on my fifth full day of single-parenting and dirty laundry up to my ears, when things got really well…
REAL. (Aka: “crappy”,”shitty”, “poo-ey”, “I-wanna-tear-all-my-hair-out-crazy,” whatever you call it at your house)
She got mad, slammed the (car) door on his fingers. He screamed deathly cold bloody-murder and I freaked, told her to go to her room, before I squished HER in the car door myself and we would for sure need to go to the emergency room.
She burst into mass hysteria, as he lifted up his mangled finger, and the world went black for a whole minute as I tried to remember what to do when that happens.
And then I saw it.
I recognized that look. I saw the fear in my daughter’s eyes at what she had done, I felt the hurt as big bitter drops of regret fell from her cheeks, and I reached out to hold her while I tried to wrap his broken finger in some gauze I had managed to find in the bathroom drawer.
He stopped crying long enough for me to hear her weeping, “what if it’s broken, Mama, and we can’t fix it??” It became apparent that she was every bit as crushed as his finger was
When we all finally stopped weeping and wailing and the world turned right side up again, I heaved a deep heavy sigh and breathed out a few things.
“Sweetie, do you understand now why we tell you to go to your room when you’re angry? Do you think it’s because we want you to calm down first, so that you don’t hurt yourself or your brother? So this doesn’t happen??”
I realized the lesson as it came out of my mouth.
Listen. We live in an angry world. I’m angry. My friends are angry. Even the animals are angry. A few weeks ago, one of them came into the backyard of a local Mother here in Colorado and hauled off with one of her babies in its mouth.
We are all fed up and angry at the way things are in this country…and people are mad. So mad in fact, that not only are we slamming and crushing each other, we are shooting furious, deadly bullets at each other.
“This is why we go to our room when we feel mad, darlin. It’s so that we can calm down before we hurt someone or do something we’ll regret, in our anger. This is why it’s important to stay in control of ourselves even when and especially WHEN we are angry.”
I was convicted by own words, (Is that even possible???) and I realized:
Perhaps a few of us adults need to remember this. Perhaps, in our rage, we have wounded and crushed each other, broken precious pinkies, and things that mattered to someone else, in our moments of blinding madness.
Perhaps by slamming the door shut on those we haven’t understood we have taken a chunk out of their right and their worthiness to be here.
I know I have. And I know I can do better. Consider these my tears.
Perhaps at this time, in this angry world we live in, we all need to take a step back, out of the moment and the heat and let ourselves calm down before we speak. Perhaps we all need to go to our adult “rooms” and let peace back into our hearts, before our hands do something we regret.
Perhaps then, we can all figure out a better way, a much safer way to be heard then with slamming doors and shots fired and bodies lying on the ground.
I held both kids and told them I forgave them for what had happened and asked if they could forgive each other, and could we all “just start over?”
They agreed and I made them a watermelon pie and we sat in the grass and laughed and ate it together, broken pinkie and all.
Perhaps you and I can do the same, with our broken trust and where we are, in our anger toward each other. Perhaps when we have calmed down and dropped our crushing, severing, deadly weapons, we can ALL come to the table and be heard, once again.
Maybe, just maybe we can all enjoy being together on this planet again.
I ask YOU my dear ones, my political conservatives, my liberal, gay, black and white and yellow and blue friends:
“Can we all just start over? And, can we all just be friends again???”