Thursday, July 14, 2011

Truth Hurts

Tonight, Luke shoved Matthew on the stairs as I herded them upstairs to bed. I told him to apologize, so he dutifully turned around and barked a decidedly UNapologetic "Sorr-Y!" at his brother.

Sigh. It would have to do.

But as we crested the landing, Matthew turned his sad, gorgeous eyes to me and said this:

"You always make ME say sorry nicely, Mummy. Why didn't Luke have to say it nicely? It's not fair."


"You're absolutely, positively 100% right, Matthew. It's not fair and beginning tomorrow morning, I promise to be more aware of it. OK?"

"Why can't you talk to him now?"

"Because it's late and everyone's tired and because I don't have the energy to fight with Luke, to be honest."

"OK, but Mummy, you have to promise to remember. Luke won't learn to say it nicely if you don't tell him right away when he says it wrong."

"I promise. I'll remember. Thank you for being patient and reminding me, Matthew."

Seriously. Seriously? This kid. He shows me every, single day who I am. Today, I am not a thing of parenting prowess, that's for darned sure. I am an ugly, shrewish witch.

So thhhhheeeennnn he says THIS:

"Mummy, can I tell you something else that's not fair?"
"You sure can, Bug."
"You call me names sometimes and it hurts my feelings. You tell US we can't call names and you do it. That's not fair."
"Uh....names like Bug and Silly Monkey?'
"No. Names like ,"Sneaky" and "Menace" and  "Little Boy" in your mean voice."

(As in, "Don't push your luck, little boy," in an admittedly sneering and nasty tone.)

"Boy, Matthew, you're really helping Mummy today. And you're right. It's NOT fair of Mummy to call you names that hurt your feelings, especially when she's grouchy. I'm sorry. I'll be aware of that, too."

"OK, Mummy. I'm glad I didn't hurt your feelings telling you. I just get sad and frustrated when things aren't fair."

OUCH. Oh, what a terrible agony truth is.

Every day.

Every, SINGLE day I have the opportunity to mold and shape this wonderful little boy into a compassionate, kind and thoughtful man. And every day, but especially today, he shows me that he is already all of those things.

It is I who needs lessons in compassion and thoughtfulness.

Thank God I have Matthew to show me - to teach me - what my best should look like.

My best? Is him.

A few days after this lesson, I guest-posted over at Six Ring Circus. It's a follow-up to this post, and is called "Truth and Forgiveness." Check it out!

Love, Belly


  1. Melanie (that one!)July 14, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    Ok... so I need to start reading your blog at home, cuz posts like this one end up making me cry at my desk and people are always asking me what's wrong! What an unbelievable blessing your little men are! They're not just teaching you, they're teaching the rest of us through you as well. Thanks for taking the time to post stuff like this. I'm becoming a better person by reading them. xoxo

  2. Thanks, Mel. It makes the guilt a teensy bit less, knowing that. Glad you're reading! And if you cried then you're in good company, because Bellymonster here cried whilst writing.

    Ah, Mama Guilt. It's the gift that gives and gives!


  3. These little boys can break your heart. I too am guilty of letting one get away with things that I don't let the other do. Thanks for the reminder Matthew that is is not fair and I need to do a better job.

  4. This made me tear up! So great. That little one is smart. Wow. I learned something reading this.

  5. He is indeed a wise and kind soul. This is not the first time he's brought me up short regarding the way I treat them, to my shame.

    But I am so grateful to him for his forgiveness and his grace.

    Am so glad that you all have taken something from this post, too. It's a hard thing, admitting absolute fault, especially when it comes to mothering. But there it is, here it is, in all its unvarnished truth.

    Thanks for commenting, ladies!