Monday, November 21, 2011

Cycles of Frustration

Collin and his friend, Nora, play with the parachute during library story time.

Caleb was particularly edgy this evening. As we clicked down the minutes until bedtime, he's inner irritation began to bubble to the surface. Feeling frustrated with my son, I finally blurted out, "Why are you on the edge? Why are you so angry?" As the words tumbled from my lips, I felt convicted. I began to wonder who exactly I was talking to: him or me?

The last two days, my own fussiness festered, the product of four lively sons, bickering siblings, one busy husband, and household woes. Did my cantankerous disposition trickle down to the boys? I pondered the old chicken and egg argument. Did Caleb's anger lead to mine, or mine to his?

The truth is it really doesn't matter where and why the anger originated, as long as it's removed. I stopped lecturing and gazed into Caleb's eyes and said with all sincerity, "I'm sorry."

The house fell silent, peaceful even. The tension flew from the space. Caleb calmed, and so did I.

Someone had to stop the cycle, and I'm glad it was me.

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