Today I failed. A grande fail, made bigger by the fact that it wasn’t just myself I let down but my precious child.
As I type this I can feel the deep sadness welling up inside of me, like I’ve swallowed all the clouds in the winter sky and can’t keep them down. The feeling starts at my navel, rises to fill my rib cage, expanding my throat and into my mouth.
I part my lips and a puff of despair seeps out. I place my hand over my mouth to keep it in as not to disrupt the woman at the next table.
Thumb pointing skyward nestled against my cheekbone as my fingers press lightly over my mouth and down to embrace my right jaw line.
I try-on a smile under my cupped hand, but it does not fit. It feels tight. I reach for my coffee hoping the warmth of it can melt the clouds even just a little.
I reflect to the start of my day just hours ago.
“You don’t have to yell at me.” the child snarls.
But The car is in the shop;
“Mom…my school pants have a chocolate stain.”
“My hair won’t stick up right, I need a haircut now! Can you just cut this peace off?” kitchen shears in hand.
“Do I have time for a quick shower?” (his top half fully dressed to rain coat; stained pants whirling in the dryer.)
“Who is getting dropped first? It better me be; I can’t be late!”
“You better not make me late!”
It is raining and we need to call an Uber instead of walking.
I’ve made french toast and no one is coming to breakfast.
I’m tired and didn’t sleep well.
The list of woe is long today for all of us…but none of the crunchiness is worthy of the loss of peace.
“I am not yelling! I am speaking with anger.” I can see my words leaving my lips like sharpened poisoned darts used by early African tribes to bring down prey. It is too late. I’ve gone ‘round the bend.
“This is yelling!” I yell. “See the difference?” Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh!
There is no satisfaction for the attention-grabbing tantrum I have just unleashed.
“Well it feels like yelling to me.” comes the sad reply.
I pause to notice the darts, and how deeply they have landed.
"Not that I am part of this conversation,” the other child quietly chimes in, “but it sounds like yelling to me too.”
“Yea…” I deflate, “I can see that it feels like yelling.”
The cloud cover is thick today.
I ask for forgiveness and commit to being better tomorrow. To remember the power not only of words but of tone.
I walk around and give a hug. “I am sorry. I love you.”
The forecast says sun tomorrow.