This Mad Mama! Moment brought to you by… exasperation.
Orlando is at his desk, painting. He has been into watercolors lately, and I have just given him two small bowls of water: one to clean the brush and the other to wet the brush for the next color.
It is morning, probably right around my post-breakfast hypoglycemic crash, and I have just sat down on the couch to nurse Mica when Orlando says, “Mama! I’m done painting!”
I tell him okay, and that I will clean up his water in a minute. He is just a few feet away from me. I watch him lift up one bowl of water and start setting it into the other bowl of water, deaf to my exhortation of “No! Don’t put it–”
Water everywhere, on the painting he has just made, down the legs of the table.
Berating Mama springs into action, unhinging Mica from my breast and setting him onto the couch.
“Didn’t you hear me? Why did you do that? Now it’s just a mess I have to clean up!” Berating Mama can TALK!
“Look at the mess you made. And you’ve mixed all the colors together!”
I dump out the water bowls. I sop up the mess. I hang up the paintings to dry. And I sit back down on the couch, looking at Orlando still at his desk, idly doing some pencil drawings, watching me from beneath the hood of his shame.
“I’m sorry, Boo. I’m sorry I acted in anger… When I saw you spill the water, I felt… so… exasperated! Because I really need a rest, and I didn’t want to clean things up. But I wish I hadn’t said all those things. I am sorry I said you were messy. You were just painting. It’s okay.”
“I’m sorry, Mama.” I wish I could record the way he says sorry. It’s like a long sigh, with spongy r’s. “I’m sorry. I love you.” He says I love you the same way. A long sigh of relief.
He truly forgives me. I feel grateful, and sad.
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May all beings be free of pain and suffering.