Wednesday, 18 April 2007I Knew She Was in Trouble
Some months back I had one of my better "mom moments". Sometimes I look back over an "incident" that has occurred with the kids and I wish I had been more patient, more understanding, slower to anger. Maybe I should have held my tongue altogether. As I look back on that particular day, I have no regrets. I returned from an errand while the rest of the family stayed at home. I walked into an empty kitchen to find my favorite teapot broken. No guilty party was near. A bit of inquiry brought the truth...Victoria had done it. I can't remember if there were streams of tears as she confessed how the accident had occurred, but then it happened. I calmly and gently told her what my mother vividly taught me many years ago, "Things can be replaced, people can't." She looked at me as if some alien had invaded my body...no lecture, no raised voice, no pointing my finger telling what she should have done differently. In that moment, she needed to know I still loved her even if she had accidentally broken my best teapot. Even if not consciously, she needed to know that our relationship was more important than any "stuff" we have in the house. She needed to know that "Things can be replaced, people can't."
Fast forward to yesterday evening. Victoria tracked me down in the garden, walked up and said, "Do you remember what you told me when I broke your teapot?" I knew she was in trouble...something was broken, but she was wisely preparing me, reminding me of my own words before she confessed. There was no sense of urgency in her voice, so I didn't think there was bleeding involved (besides, I think we already met our April quota for blood shed on Saturday night when Hannah cracked her head open on the cabinet door). She informed me that "just a little" finger nail polish remover had spilled on Alyssa's desk. None got on Alyssa's computer though, and she had wiped up what was on the wood desk....it just left a few marks.