It was early in the morning and the boy simply made a comment. The mother heard it as a dig, as a deliberate attempt to cause friction between the mother and the father. The mother reacted. The boy hung his head.
And all day, the mother regretted her response.
It was early in the morning. The sun had yet to rise. The mother was alone all week, cooking and cleaning and working and nurturing and it was just a thin line to the edge.
Or was it?
You say one thing, with one intention, and the many levels under and over the comment hover like flies waiting to pounce. The boy meant nothing. The boy shared information. And the mother, 31 years older than the boy, should have seen that.
But we aren’t that smart sometimes. When we get deep into our ego-mind, into the emotion of the moment, we forget how to step back and see things for what they are.
It’s never what it seems.
Someone lashes out and says something obnoxious. Hurtful. Hilarious. Mocking. It’s their own insecurities buried deep within that even they may not know driving the comment.
It has nothing to do with you.
It never does.
And yet we operate on autopilot as if our very existence is threatened by the words pouring forth. The text late at night masking anxiety for the procedure the next day.
The thing we forget is that those closest to us feel safe enough to lash out because they know we’ll never leave. And we don’t treasure that trust. So you yelled at me – so what? It’s because I know we love each other. It’s because I know you won’t leave me when I’m vulnerable/frail/worried/upset.
We spend our lives yearning for that kind of love and then we trash it the moment it gets uncomfortable.
Here’s a secret we all know: uncomfortable is where we grow. That’s where change lives. Progress. Don’t shimmy away from the discomfort; it’s where you’ll actually break through to the better place.
The day was beautiful, sun shining, blue sky, warm temperatures, Indian summer beckoning. The boy was in school. The mother worked. That night, the boy went to the father’s house.
The mother texted the boy an apology. Better to role-model humility and be genuine; their relationship hung in the balance.
But not really. Love forgives. Connection weathers the storms of a relationship. When it’s real, it stays.
They spoke after school and later that night, the boy was on third base when the baseball team won. The grandmother texted the news. The mother was working, couldn’t be at the field in the gloaming.
The next morning, all was well, all was new, a new day, a fresh start.
Isn’t it miraculous that every single day we get a new start? Something to treasure as you walk into the world. Life is full of renewable moments. The little stuff never matters. It is never what it seems.