When the storm passes

My seven-year-old son had one of his epic meltdowns yesterday. Loads of tears, anger, frustration. The pulling off of bedsheets. The throwing of stuffed animals. The shouting of many “s-” words (no, not THAT one, thank goodness).
Looking back, I didn’t react all that well to any of this. I got angry and made lots of threats of Halloween candy going away, video game privileges being revoked, future play dates cancelled. . .and then I calmed down and came downstairs to continue schoolwork with the girls.
It was too quiet upstairs, so I turned to head up the stairs to see what was going on, but instead saw his still-little-boy body crumpled in a heap on the living room chair. I felt a bit of anger bubble up at the idea that he had left his bedroom without my permission, but his form was so small and sad, the feeling went out like a snuffed candle. 
I tentatively sat down on the same chair, hands ready to contain another explosion but there was only a sob-filled body. He clutched at me, and we cried and cried together, both apologizing for the words spoken in anger.
I had one thought that would not leave me as I sat there holding him in my arms: Will he remember this?  I remember being yelled at by my parents. Spanked, even. I remember those hiccuping sobs in my bedroom, but I think I was always alone. I don’t remember reconciliation. 
Will he remember the aftermath of his (our) raging? Will there be any memory of us hugging, and then going upstairs together to put back together his broken room? Will he ever recall us going outside for a dog walk/bike ride side-by-side in the rain as he chattered happily? Or will he remember my quick anger and empty threats and his hiccuping sobs?
Time will tell, I suppose. I also hope writing this down may someday spark a little memory in his brain of the time his mama held him, and we both whispered I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. . . into each other’s ears.


  1. solsticemom says

    Well, that left ME sobbing. I've been there and still feel the guilt/sadness. It's so hard not to get caught up in the moment. I also hope that a hug and a sincere apology right afterwards will soften the bitter memory.

  2. Been there, done that. I remember one instance where my Mom yelled at me. I fear my kids are going to remember more than one. But we all make mistakes right? Every time I do it, I say no more! thanks for sharing.

  3. Just yesterday, I spanked my son after he repeatedly knocked his 1-year-old sister over with a full Trunki. And then I told him I loved him and I just wanted him to be a good boy and to love and take care of his sister and held him in my arms as he cried and cried…

    He ended up sleeping in our bed last night and about 5 a.m. he woke up and laid there, asking me questions. Then he suddenly said, "Mami…you love me?" I responded, "Yes, m'ijo. I love you more than anyone else on this whole planet." He just said, "I love you, too," turned around, hugged me, and went back to sleep.

    Yeah…that's what I hope he remembers.

  4. Oh, my heart clenches with recognition at this post. I could have written it myself.

  5. Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog says

    Awww… I sure hope so. Otherwise, what's the point in all of the apologies I've uttered over the years?

    I remember good stuff and bad stuff. It evens out in the end, I think.

  6. Wow, what a beautiful post. And sad. And so close to home.

  7. No Drama Mama says

    I don't remember any reconciliations, either. I doubt they happened. Thanks for showing something else.

  8. Gah. Heartbreaking. We've all done or said something we wish we could take back. And I hope those things are rewritten with better memories.

    As a child, Jamie's time out was to kneel in the corner. His mother has NO recollection of any of this. But he does! :>)

  9. I hope my sons will also remember when I cry with them and say sorry. I always tell myself no more but it still happens from time to time :(.

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