We were at home, just the two of us, mother and child.
She is speaking to me from the other room,
(yelling actually) rudely, snappy
and I know this calls for parenting
but instead what I give her is tit for tat,
taking my turn at speaking
(yelling actually) rudely to her, snappy right back at ya.
And then, suddenly I see myself, looking back at me!
Parenting has so much to teach me and it is relentless in its lessons!
Thank the Lord, my change of heart is swift as I recognize
the error of my ways and with tears and hugs we console one another
and make amends, see where we went wrong and love wins out again.
The next morning we are in the car heading for surf camp and she starts
telling me about a friends surf camp
that was just for kids who’d lost a parent to cancer.
She thought that wasn’t as good as regular camp that’s just fun,
because her friend is always having to remember her mom dying,
and then she said “Her mom was a lot more than just a person who died…
She was a clown! Isn’t that better to remember?!”
Later in the conversation she tells me about an assignment they had at school.
She can’t recall if it was for reconciliation or the stations of the cross
but each of them had to write a reflection statement
and she remembers exactly what a boy in her class wrote to Jesus,
“When you were living, we treated you badly,
but when you died we laid you down kindly.”
“It’s true, isn’t it,’ she added,
‘we should be kindly to the living, and not just when they die!”
“That’s what we did yesterday, huh?
Remembered to be kind because we are living.”
And she reached over then and took my hand.