He has a red mark on his face and is screeching. The littlest was napping. It was quiet time. I was trying to cross some boring grown-up things off my list. Things I hate. Things that get pushed to the last possible minute. Things that involve making phone calls. Someone bless my heart!
The bigger one stepped on the littler one’s face in a fit of rage. The littler broke the bigger's Lego creation and now has a shoe print on his face to show for it. Littlest is no longer napping. I am no longer adult-ing. A furry begins to boil up in me. I am shouting. Barking. Howling. I’m knee deep in a boiling pool.
-Have you lost your ever loving mind!!!
-We can fix Legos! We can get new Legos! We can’t get a new brother! (Not the same one, at least. You get me right?).
-We can measure your shoes size with your brother’s face! I can take your brother to the shoe store and buy you new shoes with his face!!! (Wow….)
I am so, so, so, so angry. Too angry (clearly). I send the bigger away so he can calm down. (More importantly, so I can calm down.) Someone needs to calm down. Everyone just needs to calm down.
I don’t calm down, right away. I march right upstairs and holler some more about it. All of it. Yell, Yell, Yell.
I later, (when I find calm) I explain to him how brother is one of my very best things. How he was formed, pieced together, right inside of my body. He is my special gift. I say gently (instead of show loudly) how angry I feel when someone hurts him.
He’s getting it, I think. I remind him how angry he was when his Lego creation was broken. He remembers.
That’s how mommy feels only bigger. Only more. Only all of it. My people are my best thing. My very best most special thing. It took years to get to here. It took the longest time to make this. My family. It matters the most. The biggest.
I want him to feel how I feel, see how I see, value how I value.
I try to remember that although he has done wrong, he is still my best thing too. Yes, the blurry angry red clears and I see my boy. The one I screamed at rather than lovingly corrected and redirected. The one who depends on me to guide him through the rage he feels when he is wronged. Rather than helping him navigate his big feelings, I fell in the pool with him. There we were splashing around. Burning. Losing.
He says he’s sorry. I’m sorry too. I say it. I squeeze it into him, hugging, kissing it into the top of his head. I mean it. I was wrong.
In a blink I went from sitting at my kitchen table to screaming, threatening and handing out punishment. A switch flipped. I lost my footing. No, I made a choice. I let my toe dip into warm water and jumped in to boil.
The same happened to him.
We aren’t that different, he and I. My boy and me. All of us. Any of us. The right trigger and, tick, tick, boom.
But there is that tick. That moment before. That little toe dip. You can feel the water heating. Jump in or cool it down. It’s only a moment. That before moment. A small opportunity but a chance for choice.
Big guy apologizes to his little brother. His brother also apologizes. Their anger evaporates. Legos fit back together. Shoe printed faces bounce back to smooth cheeks.
I think of God seeing us, our world. Seeing someone bring harm the best thing he made, each other. How enraged he must be.
I think how God gifts the opportunity to work it out. New day. New minute. Begin again. Try again. The consequences can be much bigger. The forgiving has to be much wider, deeper, thicker.
He wants us to feel how He feels, see how He sees, value how He values.
He sees me. Us. Through the blurriness of the problems caused or jumped into. He clearly sees all. He sees red. Not for anger. Love. Forgiveness is thick, grace even thicker. The thickest. We can step right into it.
We dust off and begin again. We do the next right thing. Love.
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