Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Quality of Mercy

I recently - very recently, as in yesterday - experienced a fairly substantial disappointment; I had interviewed for a job that I wanted, badly, and did not get it. Hey, that's life...but if I've learned anything over these past three years, it's that the only way out is through. Trite, perhaps, but very, very true. So, I allowed myself a "wallowing" period, and then moved on to a more "count your blessings" sort of mindset...and although I'll admit that this may sound a little silly to some, it works for me.

The admittedly sparse amount of posts I've managed thus far have contained a lot of information about my children, as will this one. I've received some (greatly appreciated) comments telling me that previous recountings have brought tears to some eyes, and I think that this one may, as well; however, this should engender tears of a very different sort.

The avatar at left is, of course, not me; it is my small daughter and although it's a not-very-flattering photo, it captures her attitude precisely. She's quite a beauty, with magnificent violet-blue eyes and lashes that reach to her eyebrows. In the photo, her lovely blond hair looks frizzed out and wild, and, in case you're wondering...yes, she is flipping the bird. The photo is saved on my computer under the title "Hername_springer" because I think that she looks for all of the world like someone you might see in the audience of "The Jerry Springer Show." My girl has no filter.

My son, on the other hand, has been described by more than one person as an "old soul." I agree completely. He, too, is physically striking, with a fine-boned face and a generous mouth. But it is what issues from that lovely mouth that has sometimes taken me completely aback, shamed me at the level of maturity and wisdom I can only hope to one day possess.

Some months ago, on a Sunday afternoon that represented the near-end of one of "my" weekends with the kids, my volatile little girl dropped a strawberry on the floor, and in the way of nap-needing 3-year-olds, threw a small fit, yelling incomprehensibly and directing her outrage my way. My son, who was walking through the kitchen at the time, did an abrupt about-face and marched right up to his sister. He closed in on her and said, "Do not ever speak to our mother that way, with such disrespect. You know that Daddy will be here to pick us up soon, and after we leave, Mommy will be alone. Alone, and with your temper fit as one of the last things to remember about the weekend." He then looked at me and said, "Mom, you're the adult here. You don't have to accept that from her." I was amazed, stunned into silence...and, I have to admit, somewhat gratified. My ex-husband is a yeller-screamer. I'm the one who says things like, "You're angry and frustrated. I understand. But I'm not the source of those emotions, and I will not accept being the target of them." So, it was wonderful to hear my own words come back to me, to know that it's not falling on deaf ears. But, of course...I'm digressing.

I held my son at arm's length, by his shoulders, and with wonder in my voice half-whispered, "Where did I get you?" He looked directly into my eyes and said, "I believe in you, Mommy."

Five words. Five words that have seen me through wound-licking disappointments. Five words that have LITERALLY kept me alive because, you see, there's always suicide. Five words that have allowed me to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, I've gotten a couple of things right where these children are concerned.

Five. Words.


giggles said...

OMG....and how old is this old soul?

Mom? You're doin good. Know it. Believe it.

Eponymous said...

Thank you. In Earth-years, he is ten. A close friend of mine - one who, in fact, drove me to the hospital when I was in labor with my son, recently told me that he doesn't believe he's ever seen a mother and son who are closer than my son and I. A beautiful compliment, indeed, and one that my boy and I reflect upon regularly. Oh, this story is the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg with this child...

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I gotta say you got me with that one. That one is a keeper.

Raine said...

he is amazing <3

a rose is a rose said...

one word