Dear Middle Child,
It finally happened. I caught a glimpse of beauty rising from the ashes. . . A lone flower blooming through the cracks of the broken flower pot. I wasn’t even aware that it happened until your Daddy told me about it last night. And the knowledge of it makes my heart feel like it’s warming up to sing. . .
Yesterday afternoon was a rough one for you. You found out your sister was going somewhere you could not go. . . .and try as you might, you could not talk me into letting you go with her. And you were mad. No, that’s not even a strong enough word. You were FURIOUS, enraged and angry to the point of hating allthethings. You wanted me to hold you as you cried, and I did. Your angry tears soaking my t-shirt for many minutes of mourning, negotiating fury as you pleaded and cried and yelled because you wanted your sister to stay at home, or to be allowed to go with her. Enter Daddy.
Daddy had been gone for a week on a work trip and up until the rage began, you could not WAIT to see him when he got home. When he walked in, I had you sobbing on one shoulder and your baby brother fussing in the other arm, so Daddy tried to take you from me to help out. You would not hear of it. You yelled, “NO!” and buried your face further into my neck, so he took your brother so I could focus on you. You would not hug him. You would not kiss him. You would not talk to him. You would only hang on my neck and angrily rebuff all those who attempted to talk to you. This went on for close to half an hour. Then I had to leave to take your sister to her event. You were calmer by then, likely somewhat appeased by promises of a Happy Meal upon my return. You not-so-begrudgingly agreed to watch Max & Ruby with Daddy and your brother as I left.
By the time I got back, the storm was over and you were your normal cheerful self again. The evening passed pleasantly and you went to bed without any arguments. Then Daddy described what happened a few minutes after I left. . .and my glimmer of hope was ignited.
“A little while after you left, we were watching a show together when she turned to me and gave me a hug and a kiss. She said she was sorry. . . she was mad when I got home and didn’t want to kiss me, but now was glad to see me and give me a kiss.”
WOW. You, my little 3-year-old hurricane realized that you may have hurt Daddy’s feelings with your earlier behavior. You, in your sweet, intuitive way understood that some explanation for your behavior was helpful. You used your words to describe your feelings from before and offered affection to show that it wasn’t about Daddy. You understood that it was okay to have your feelings…but that saying you were sorry for how you acted was important. And you learned all that from me. Specifically from my mistakes. Especially from the infamous maple syrup incident. And from hearing me say, “I’m sorry.”
Trust me, I know that this doesn’t make it okay that I yelled. It’s still not okay at all. But what’s wonderful is that even in the midst of being raised by a broken mommy, YOU are flourishing. You are growing. You are becoming. You are gaining insight into being sensitive to the feelings of others. You are learning to say you’re sorry. God is making beautiful things out of the dust. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NIV-emphasis mine)
So it does help me to be okay with the fact that I’m not perfect. And that I fail and get back up and keep going. And it gives me hope that my love for you is big enough to overcome the hurt I cause you. And that God’s love is big enough for both of us.