A Smile Amidst the Tears

I wanted to write about how I felt when I heard about the slaughter in Paris this past Friday. I wanted to find words that would help me and others heal. I wanted to find words to make sense on what is going on in the world.

I couldn’t find the words. I really couldn’t.

Instead, I offer a silly memory in hopes it brings smiles to those who read it.

I’m writing about a moment in my life when my mother realized I held all the power. Seriously held the power. I was about three. You read that right. I was three when I knew I had power over my mother.

It goes like this. When I was still in diapers, my dear mom used to nuzzle my neck and pound on my diaper. I’d giggle and laugh. She’d giggle and laugh. This went on from probably my first birthday until I was toilet trained. It was a game that we loved. Three came with no diapers. Mom would pat my little buttocks lightly. The game continued.

One day, I did something bad. I have no clue what it was. Mom didn’t remember, but she remembered what happened next. She said she grabbed my arm and spanked me. Right across the little buttocks she’d so often patted in jest. I must have thought it was a variation on our favorite game, albeit one that stung a bit. I laughed. She get even madder. She swatted me again. I laughed again. And kept laughing. Two swats was all it took for my mom to realize spanking would never work. I would always giggle at her.

I maintained the power until my mom changed tactics. She put me in my little rocking chair, pushed into a corner and ignored me. I hated being ignored. I whimpered and cried, and as I got older threw a tantrum or two. She continued ignoring me until I was silent. It didn’t take long. She’d pull the chair out of the corner and ask why I was sitting there. I’d blubber again and tell her what I’d done wrong. We’d hug and kiss and make up.

Now that we are adults, when are we going to kiss and make up? Isn’t it time?


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