Yesterday was rough.
Mommy in bed at 7:00 rough.
There were a lot of brotherly fights yesterday that left me spent. They even fought during my work calls which made the calls… interesting. At one point, my laptop and I did a little dance across the house so I could wrap up a call and figure out what was causing them so much angst. I’m so glad priceless moments like one twin tearing apart the creations of the other are now recorded for posterity.
I finally ended the call sitting on my bed in my room struggling to keep them apart. When I finally shut my laptop, I sighed and asked them to explain.
Surprisingly they spoke to each other instead of to me. “I didn’t want you to take my creations from me until you told me why you wanted them” one said. “I wanted to build you a camp-out surprise and so I couldn’t tell you why I needed them” the other replied.
They both spoke so calmly. “I’m sorry,” they said to each other. And then one turned to me: “Mommy, sometimes I just need to smash things. What can I smash? Can you help me?”
I was struck by the honesty of his statement. And by how much I understood it. Sometimes, life gets a little overwhelming and you just want the satisfaction of smashing something that’s okay to smash.
“You can smash all the cardboard boxes we have in recycling. Any time you find one in the house, you can break it up as long as you put the pieces in the bin.”
Inspired by this idea, they got off my bed and said “Mommy, let’s do it now!” They grabbed the bin and all the boxes and let me to the big blue can outside the garage. And they smashed and tore the boxes to their hearts content.
And just like that they were friends again having worked out their differences in such a surprising manner that I’m left thinking about it still this morning.
What are ways to explain to one another our hurts and express and work out our frustrations in a healthy way? Perhaps the answers are right in front of us in the movements of children.
My prayer today is for the grace of attention to our emotions and the grace of healthy expression of them so we can break down barriers and build up relationships.