Kids say the darndest things. They say the stuff right from the heart. Those priceless sentences come flying out of their mouths when we least expect it. Faster than we can grab a pen to capture it, their witty remarks leave power hanging in the air long after the words have been spoken.
Yesterday morning, a quiet Sunday at home, my son comes running into the kitchen crying. He and his dad were having lunch in the dining room while I put away the dishes. As he rushed into my arms squeezing me tight he proclaimed, “I don’t know why I’ve been so mean to you lately.”
I squeezed him back and encouraged him to let his tears fly. “Let it out, babe.”
I joined him at the table as he continued to spill out from his heart. Not necessarily the stuff you want to savor in a journal and remember forever but stuff that really hung in the air for hours after it was spoken.
“Mom, I think I’m mean to you because sometimes your personality bugs me. You look at me sometimes when you are mad at me in ways that I don’t like. Your behaviour rubs me the wrong way. It is no reason to be mean to you but I think that is what is going on, I don’t like some stuff you say and do.”
I took a deep breath. Smiled at my hubby across the table. Rubbed my son’s head and told myself, I must be doing something right.
He was waiting for a response. So I told him, “Wow, thank you. I get it.”
Expecting me to be upset he asked, “Did I hurt you?”
I took another breath. I wanted to be honest. “Not really. Because everyone does things that bug us that we don’t like, especially those we love the most. And like you said, it is my personality, my cheery self, my upbeat attitude that bugs you. My soul, my true essence, the part of me that matters somehow gets that. No, it doesn’t hurt me because I feel your love all the time. Your love for me is far bigger than the part of my that annoys you.”
“Besides”, he told me, “I probably do stuff that bugs you and I know you love me.”
I simply smiled and rubbed his head, squeezing him with another hug.
Later that day when hubby, son and I walked home from a game of tennis at the park, I thought of something, “Your dad does stuff that bugs and annoys me and he has for the twenty years I’ve known him, but it won’t cause me to leave him or to not love him.” We all laughed there on the sidewalk.
When I was my eleven, like my son, my mom did and said things that totally annoyed me. Right? We can all relate. Instead of gracefully explaining that to her, I was snotty, moody, withdrawn, bitter and cold.
I was truly grateful my son had a big enough heart to gracefully share the confusion and thoughts gnawing away in his mind.
This morning he told me, “I am so glad we had that talk yesterday.”
“Me too, babe.”
It was like speaking his mind allowed a wall to lift. I’m not acting any differently today except for one thing. I am not worried any more if what I do or say will set him off or bug him. It will. But we will pick up where we left off, speaking gently from our hearts, loving each other, annoying parts and all. Sounds like that’s two walls lifted. Amen.
Jenny Gwinn McGlothern is a Certified Transformational Master Life and Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader and Writer. As founder of Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, she is passionate about all people, not just mamas, receiving an authentic physical, mental, emotional, spiritual refill. She says, “One cannot pour from an empty cup,” and offers her clients the possibility and power of pouring for themselves, first. She is also a Transformational Educator at Seattle Life Coach Training (www.seattlelifecoachtraining.com), where the school “trains to transform lives” both personally and professionally. You can find her on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill and visit her website: www.mamaneedsarefill.com)