When Words Cut and Slash
|Photo Credit: Andrew Blight, Creative Commons, cc license|
Black, white, blue and cream hangers twist jumbled on the couch. Metal and plastic angles dig and coil, arching uselessly; sharp ends jabbing, blunt sides hiding, nestling under layers; and the hangers are ensnared.
He runs and hides, giggling maniacally, shoving dryer-hot clothes into wrinkled piles, and slipping under shirts. The fun is lost on me and I scowl and call him out. He squeals and burrows further, unaware that he is past his bedtime, past his mom’s patience, past the silly zone.
And my words, they jab and coil, digging angular into soft edges, tumbling twisted to the ground. Scooping under warm laundry, I swoop up my five year old, and carry him squirming to the bathroom for last minute bedtime details. I’m ensnared in fiery emotions, spiraling hot and impatient, and my mom-skills are jumbled, useless, bundled on the side.
He tantrums and cries, while my insides sigh weary, and suddenly I calm.
“Daniel, I’m sorry. I messed up.” I talk gently and touch his toes, helping him arrange his pyjama pants. “Even though you need to obey when I talk to you, I still got too angry. I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”
He softens, and I’m regretful and sad. We wash hands, head to his room, and turn off lights. He climbs his bunk bed, while I turn on the fan, and clear a path through the toys. Leaning on tiptoes, I swipe hair back from his face, kiss him some more, and apologize again. Playing with his caramel-colored hair, we close eyes, talk to Jesus, and say sorry to him too. We murmur gently in the dark room, talk of tomorrow, and I kiss his tiny cheeks.
Walking back into a quiet living room, I’m still saddened by my sharp words that dug and coiled. They lay twisted around me in my mind, but I bring them to God and talk to him.
Minutes pass in silence, and I tidy up the house, unconsciously.
“Mom?” he calls faintly from the bedroom.
“I’m happy now!” he declares, and my shoulders soften too, a smile stealing across my face.