Monday night. A hole in a door. An inconsolable child. My son.
Broken. Irreparable. It would have to be replaced. Too much damage had been done.
Chest tightening. Breath exiting. Hands trembling.
He had stormed into his room, frustrated and angry and fed-up with me. While I thought the reasons were small, he found it to be big, huge, overwhelming.
As he threw the blankets and pillows off the bed and slammed his fists into the walls and doors, hot tears escaped my eyes and slowly made their way down my face.
I stayed quiet and washed a few more dishes. I pondered whether this was an indication of his character. I wondered how many scars had led to this moment. So much had changed in their world recently. I asked myself if it was my fault. How I could do better as a mom.
Sometimes, you just want to have someone to back you up. Someone you can bounce ideas off of. Sometimes, it’s really hard being a single parent.
I walked down the hallway to his room. I surveyed the damage and took a deep breath. I prayed I could make good choices in this moment. That I could use this to teach him something great.
“Knock, knock.” I cracked open the door, peeking in to see my little man sitting on his toybox, looking as devastated as I felt. “Hey, Jay. When you are ready to talk, I am here, okay?”
He waved me inside. Deep breath.
I sat beside him and put my arm around him. “You know I love you, right?” He nodded, sniffling a bit.
I could feel his pain. I could sense his regret. I knew he hadn’t wanted to act this way. He was hurting, scared, ashamed, worried.
I took another breath. I knew that this was a crucial moment. In this moment, he needed me. He needed me to be strong. He needed grace. He needed mercy. And he needed guidance.
He looked up at me with tears in his eyes. “Jaymin, I will always love you. No matter what you do, no matter the choices you make, I will always love you.”
He started crying in earnest now, overwhelmed by what he had just done.
“I’m so sorry, mommy. I don’t want to make bad choices. I don’t know why I did that.”
More tears. Weeping now. Uncertainty and pain etched on his small, sweet face.
I wrapped him a little tighter. Tears streaming down my face all over again. He snuggled in closer, burying his face on my shoulder.
“I love you. I know that was really scary for you. But I am here. The worst part is over. I love you.”
We talked for a while after that. Talked about anger. Talked about fear. Talked about responsibility.
Anger is normal. It is powerful. It is frightening.
And it is our actions when we are angry that determine the outcome of a situation.
There’s a better way to show those feelings.
Consequences. There are consequences to everything. Good and bad.
We cleaned up the room. We replaced the door. Those things don’t really matter.
But, we learned an incredible lesson. Both of us.
We learned that when the going gets hard… when we are overwhelmed and angry at the world around us… when things don’t go as planned and we don’t get what we want… those are the times we can come together.
We have a choice on how we respond. We can escalate the matter, making it even bigger, causing more stress, hurting more. Or we can choose to react in love. We can choose to communicate. We can decide that compassion is more important.
We can choose love. We can always choose love.