We went to some friends’ house for dinner last night. These are the same people who Simeon raged in front of a couple of months ago. This time he poured shampoo in their little boy’s hair and when I asked him to sit next to me for a few minutes as a time out, decided to start hitting Leo.
I dragged him kicking and screaming to their tiny little bathroom and splashed cold water on his face. That shocked the rage out of him. Then he was just mad. I told him we wouldn’t leave until he was able to show our hosts some respect by being kind in their home and making apologies all around.
We sat there. And I tried talking to him, which was pointless. He screamed at me. So I sat there. And sat there. And sat there. Finally, after both of our heart rates had lowered again, I quietly asked if he was ready to go out and face the world.
He presented an angry affirmative. I told him that I was very glad he was ready to go, but that his face told me he was still upset. I told him he needed to change his face to get out the door.
He raised his eyebrows in an extreme attempt to not scowl. Then he squinted. Then he put on this weird plastic-y smile. And through them again. I sat in front of him watching and waiting for some shred of sincerity. Finally, his little lips relaxed, and his eyelids rested half-staff. He asked “you don’t want me?”
Oh, my heart! I don’t think I need to detail the outpouring of affirmation that followed. After about 4 katrillion I love you’s, we broke free from our little cell and made apologies. Then high tailed it home before he changed his mind again.
The last few weeks, I’ve seen an a sharp little edge of Simon’s anger give way to the fear that we don’t love or want him. I’m guessing it’s a fear that no one does.
And it makes me so sad. And it makes me so very angry. I’m sad because I don’t know what else to do to make him understand how much we love and desire him. And I’m angry that his parents epic failure has etched this kind of pain into his little heart.
So for our little family, we’re gearing up for Valentine’s day. This Valentine’s day is going to be a celebration of love in our family. We’re decorating the house from top to bottom. We’re going to celebrate Valentine’s day like never before. It will now be an entire season from January – March devoted to affirming love. An entire season devoted to whole hearts. An entire season filled with stories and verses and scriptures about love. We’ll celebrate Valentine’s Eve and Valentine’s morning. We’ll be having a Valentine’s feast. We’ll be celebrating all the people we love and who love us. We’ll be celebrating a God who loves and teaches us to do the same. We’ll be reeling from the thrill of it all until Spring arrives.
Imagine it! Love, love, love, love, love, Luh-uhve!!!