Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Cycles of Caleb

Caleb had one of those evenings. Unfortunately, it was the sort of evening that has become way too familiar. Something small mushroomed into something major. He became unglued, and I slowly began to unravel. He hysterically cried. He performed all sort of theatrics. He was beyond angry.

But, as I've come to expect, his angry wails soon succumbed to sad sobs. I watched my eight-year-old son huddle against the corner of his bed, clutching the ratty blanket he's relied on since infancy. His eyes were red, and tears were streaming down his cheeks, pooling onto his pillow. Although no words accompanied the sobs, the tears seemed to communicate a deep feeling of being misunderstood. I felt my inner fury melt, and waves of empathy washed over me.

We began to converse. Rather, I talked and he stared at a book. I expressed the one thing I always want to know: what's wrong. Like a broken record, I asked several times, "Caleb, can you tell me what's wrong?"

No response. Vague response. No clue.

Like Groundhog's Day, we ended the evening in our same familiar pattern: both at peace for the evening, not understanding each other anymore than the day before.

I'm hoping one of these days, the ending changes.

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