Friday, March 3, 2017
Lessons learned the hard way
Write about a lesson you've learned the hard way
Read this first, please, and then come back and read the rest.
I was trying to find things for my 7 year old grandson to eat that wouldn't hurt his sore throat or rather food that would feel more soothing on his sore throat.
Vanilla ice cream, Popsicles, mashed potatoes, chicken noodle soup, maybe scrambled eggs.
I wanted to get him settled down on the couch with his breakfast and cartoons so Grandpa, who was also home sick, wouldn't have too much to do while I made a quick trip to the grocery store.
"What about applesauce?" I asked him.
YES! he replied. Ok good, great. I've got applesauce.
Except I didn't. Not the kind he liked. What I had was pear flavored applesauce. It mostly tasted like regular applesauce, to me anyway. I can fool him, I thought, but he's gonna notice the color difference, so I figured if I put it in a red dish he wouldn't be able to see the opaque green color.
Here's how it went down-
ME: Here ya go Sweetie, want granny to feed it to you?
HIM: No, I can do it myself...why is it in that red bowl?
ME: I thought it would be nice to eat it out of this cute lil bowl
HIM: Wait...why is it that color?
ME: What color? It just looks different because of the red bowl. Here, try a bite.
HIM: he tries a bite....It tastes funny granny.
ME: No it doesn't.
HIM: Yes it does. And it's green.
ME: It tastes the same as regular applesauce!
HIM: No it doesn't. Can't I have regular applesauce?
ME: Try another bite. You'll like it!
HIM: No! I don't like green applesauce.
ME: Won't you please try it again? Please?
ME: (I stare at him, sigh really big, and then say...) You make me sad.
then I grabbed the red bowl of green colored pear flavored applesauce and left the room, went to the kitchen and chucked it in the sink...bowl, spoon, everything splattering in the sink and heaved out another big sigh. I took it personally and I don't have any idea why.
I gave myself a few seconds to cool down then headed back to the living room.
When I walked in he was sitting at their little tikes table with his head down and he was sobbing.
"What're ya crying about", I asked non too gently still peeved about that stupid fucking applesauce.
He lifted his head and quietly sobbed out these 5 words-
I FEEL SHAMED OF MYSELF
He could hardly look at me as he uttered those words about hisself. I could see him trying to hide his face in his arms while he continued to cry out his hurt and shame. Over applesauce.
And just like that I broke.
I started to cry myself and I dropped to my knees next to him and grabbed his little face and said-
"Oh sweetie, you don't have to feel shame cuz you didn't want to eat that applesauce. Granny is so very sorry that she made you feel bad about that. Granny was wrong to do that to you."
I hugged him as tight as I could, whispering the whole time that I was soooo sorry.
It took him a few minutes to get hold of himself and I hugged him while he, while we, finished letting our tears fall.
I mopped both of our faces, gave him a kiss and an orange popsicle and told him I was going to the store to buy him REAL applesauce.
I cried all the way to the store. What kind of a monster am I ?? Why did I do that to him?
Grandmothers are supposed to be sweet and kind and loving.
What the hell was wrong with me??
I found I wanted to hide my own face so I too didn't have to see my own shame filled flaws.
Once inside the store I found myself putting cookies and cereal and chocolate bars and mac&cheese and lots of applesauce in my cart. His favorite juice boxes, and pudding cups and hot dogs...all his favorite foods. As if buying him food was going to make up for the damage I had inflicted upon him.
Today I found that story that I referenced above on a blog that I follow.
And it just about did me in.
I don't want to break that beautiful boys spirit. I don't want to be the one who takes away his shine.
The author states this at the end of her story-
The following vow is something I wish I’d made a few years ago—but perhaps it’s right on time for you. Perhaps it’s right on time for us all; I can’t help but believe our world could use a little softening right now.
Only Love Today.
Today and every day.
Thanks for reading,