“Why is he bleeding?”
“Because he is an idiot.”
“I didn’t know idiocy caused people to just start spontaneously bleeding from the nose.”
“I think it’s a new phenomenon.”
“You could have a little more compassion for your own son.”
“Laraine, there are consequences to mistakes that you make. Now, should we go to the principal’s office or let him sit there even longer?” My wife was smart, but she like to coddle our son too much. Give him what he wanted. Jamie was old enough now to start feeling those repercussions.
“What do we say?”
“That Jamie will take whatever punishment the principal doles out as well as he will be disciplined at home.”
“Scott, don’t you think that is a little too harsh?”
“For inciting a fight over a swing during break? I don’t think so.”
“He just wanted to swing.”
“Laraine, please, you need to stop. He was being downright selfish and pushed the other kid off. Are we supposed to reward that?”
“Laraine, you need to stop treating him like a baby!” Now I was mad. I immediately regretted the harsh tone of my voice and my bluntness. But, by gum, something had to be done to put a stop to this.
“But he is my son, and I am his mother!” Gosh, she cute when she was angry. Her gorgeous eyes flashed and her shoulders stiffened like a little hen protecting her chicks.
“You need to stop giving him everything he wants and treating him like he is a delicate flower. You are punishing him! He will be worse off later! Life is hard and not all about him and the sooner he learns that the better. You can’t protect him from everything!”
“I can try!” Her eyes filled with tears and I knew where this was going. Somewhere neither of us wanted to go.
“Laraine, you can’t blame yourself for what happened. We’ve been through this.” I rubbed the back of my neck. I suddenly felt old and weighed down.
“I should have been better at keeping them safe! I should have driven them to school that day!”
The sound of sirens and screams filled my senses. I blinked, trying to force the flashback away. I blinked again and looked at my wife’s contorted face. I knew it must be a mirror of my own. I caught her in my arms as her knees buckled under the weight of the grief. She buried her face into my shirt front and held on for dear life. The little faces of my three children as they hugged me goodbye that fateful morning before I left for work filled my mind. Their smiling faces. I never dreamed that two hours later would be a nightmare that lasted 2 months. The memory of trying to care for a 6 month old, while spending time in a hospital in intensive care, while mourning the loss of two of your children, was enough to send anyone to their knees. At the end of those two months, we buried the third. No wonder she felt the need to protect Jamie so strongly. He was the only one we had left.
Her sobs tore my heart. God, where are you now?
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By His Grace,