Friday, September 12, 2008

It's not only 2 year-olds who wonder why

Why do you do it? You know it’s not right. The shrieking. The scolding. The constant sharpness in your voice. In your manner. In your very eyes. She’s only 2. She’s trying to find her way, figure out who she is. You know it’s not the best way to help her, to guide her. Sometimes you try to stop but other times… You can see by the look on her face that she does indeed want to please you. You can see by that look that what you’re doing is not working. It’s hurting her. Why would you want to hurt someone you love more than you love yourself? Deliberately yet. How close is this to child abuse? At what point do you slide over that line? You can hear echoes of your father using that tone. How you hated it. How ineffective it was. You would never be this hard on a stranger.

Please, Abby, don’t remember this. Or, if you do, please let it be tempered with memories of swings and walks and sharing cookie dough.

Please, God, let me try harder. Help me be more patient. More kind.