Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Broken

There are four little pieces of pink china on my desk right by the computer. They used to form the handle of a teapot that is part of the "breakable tea set" Ann Peyton's great grandmother gave her. It's absolutely one of my favorite gifts anyone has ever given one of my children. It's pink and green and it's pretty and sweet and fancy but not overly ornate. And it's fragile.

So much like its precious tiny owner. She's not fancy. She has a simple beauty- her deep brown eyes, her long straight hair, her soft smile and her sweet voice.

And she's fragile.

Like I am.

So many times, too many times, I've bruised and broken her with my careless words. Or more often, my angry tone. I watch her crumble under the smallest rebuke and I see so much of myself as a little person. Or myself today, really.

I'm as sensitive as they come, but I'm not one to let my four year old's words dictate my feelings. I know she's little and when she says things in anger, she doesn't mean them. But the other day I was the bruised and broken one. She told me, as she does from time to time, when she's particularly upset with me that I was a "mean momma". No harm, no foul. I grinned and told her that I knew that's how she felt, but I was making a decision that was best for her and it that it was a decidedly not mean thing to do. She fumed a bit more and then said "You're not a sweet momma". For some reason that hurt more. A lot more. Maybe I thought in the back of her mind she thought I was a sweet momma who was just doing something mean. I'm not sure? I still can't pinpoint it. Whatever it was, that jab at my character as a momma hurt.

I gave her a few minutes to calm down and went over and asked her "Do you really think I'm not a sweet momma?" She thought for only half a second and said "No. Just a pretend mean momma." It was an olive branch and it was accepted.

Here in the world, we bruise and break each other. So often the souls we love the most. We speak too tersely, we use adjectives we don't entirely mean, we shatter fragile spirits.

And part of me wants to just board myself up, to try not to feel. Like the tea set I really wanted to save...indefinitely. But that tea set has brought Annie untold hours of joy. And aren't relationships just the same? Just like how some of the most wonderful things reaped in life are sewn in tears, we have to open ourselves up to being bruised and broken to really be able to live joy and live love.

So we bruise each other. Sometimes we even break each other. And then...we piece each other back together and we're all the more beautiful for the tiny glue painted cracks that mean we are real.

Five Minute Friday

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