Recovery is a precarious place. Just when you think you are all better, something causes you to slide backwards again. It’s always something smallish; a child getting in trouble at school, a disappointment, or your heart being broken just a little bit again. When you are trying to recover from something already, these smallish things loom large in your head. They make you sadder. They cause you to sigh quite a lot more . . . or you might even overreact just a teensy bit and yell at your son all the way home from Cub Scouts. Really? Cub Scouts? What a delinquent. What could a 9-year-old really do that merits getting yelled at all the way home?
Well, he could be ruining his 4th grade social life by misbehaving at the boring scout meeting and risking his entire future, that’s what! So that’s what happened after a day where small disappointments screamed at me that I am a worthless piece of crap, and things didn’t go just right at the post office, and his 9-year-old transgression means that his friends will never invite him over and he will end up a social outcast alone in his dorm room in college.
This is the kid who two years ago when I was really trying to find a job instead of working for myself because the economy was bad and I was afraid, heard me telling a friend over the phone that the more I prayed for a job, the more I ended up taking steps toward making my own business grow. First I formed a real company, then I printed new business cards, then I invested in some marketing research. Ben butted in saying, “That’s because I keep praying that you won’t get a job.”
Why do they only listen when they are not the intended recipient of the words?
You might say that a child’s prayers can’t possibly cancel out my prayers because they are naïve and don’t know how important jobs can be when bread costs $4.00 a loaf, but you’d be wrong. This is the kid who gave up watching TV for lent in second grade because, “I can’t give up my life like Jesus did.”
To which I reply, “Geeze.”
I am still more wounded then I knew. I stopped working on my house when I got the basement to the point that I could throw down a few rugs and invite people over once-in-a-while. I was tired and didn’t think I really needed to repair anymore. But now I see the deep gash in the wall where the boys moved the couch downstairs, and I feel the need to start lining up tiles again; maybe to bring back a sense of order, or maybe to hide out for a while and patch up some of the wounds that are still gaping open just a bit. So tomorrow I spackle . . . but tonight I apologize.