LuAnne | Winterpast Family
That day started out like almost like any other. A bit too early, a bit too cold. The middle of January is like that.
Socks and books and papers strewn all over and crumbs still needing to be swept up. Just life, really.
Life as I know it. It’s usually all good, really. I don’t usually have much trouble counting up blessings at the end of the day.
But that day the emotions of three teenagers seemed perilously close to the surface and the ordinary back-and-forth bickering turned into fighting and angry words bubbled up and burst out without warning.
And I asked the “why?” again and again to those three boys who are fast working their way to manhood.
“Why fight over this trivial thing?”
They don’t answer. They don’t seem to notice me. They don’t seem to notice anything but their anger and I don’t really understand and I ask again “why must you fight”, but it seems that I might as well ask the wind why it has to blow, because I don’t get any answers.
Boys-nearly-men have their own agendas. That I know nothing of.
Agendas that include one-ups-man-ship, or whatever it is that my dad and their dad calls it. To find their place in the world of men. I guess.
I still don’t understand.
I question myself. Question my mothering.
Of course I do. Because that’s what I do. Because I raised them and shouldn’t they know BY NOW not to throw mud at each other?
I quiet. Stop asking questions because obviously I don’t have the words. I whisper prayers instead. Silently. I beg Him for the words I need to say. I don’t hear them.
I do hear the slam of a door. Two. Three.
And I question – can even this day be a good day? Can I take this – this day that God gives me – and thank Him for it?
I should. I know I should. “In all circumstances give thanks” He says and I know He means the “all” part just as much as the “thanks” part.
I just don’t know how to do it.
I sweep crumbs and swallow words because I don’t really know what words to say. I whisper prayers inside for grace and peace and the words to say, but I don’t hear the words.
I do hear the stomping of feet.
And then the opening of a door. Two. Three.
I hear what sounds an awful lot like boys talking – not yelling.
I plunge hands into warm water brimming with bubbles and start to scrub the dried egg off of the breakfast plates. Try hard not to listen to what’s coming from upstairs. Try to brace myself for more slams.
I don’t hear them.
I hear feet running down stairs. Into the living room.
I scrub on.
And when I finish with cleaning the morning’s mess, picking up socks and books and papers, I wipe tears from the eyes as I hear apologies spoken from three sets of lips that are fast approaching manhood.
And I question myself. Question my mothering.
Of course I do. Because that’s what I do. Because I raised them and I should know by now that they know by now. Because everyone makes mistakes and how amazing that we can say we’re sorry and be forgiven and know that this is how love works.
I quiet. I stop asking God for the words to say to my children. Obviously He spoke directly to them.
I start speaking thanks instead.