Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Hank

I suppose every parent has one. You know, that kid you makes you want to grab him and hug him because he is so sweet but the next second has you so mad you're locking yourself in the kitchen with a glass of wine so that you don't lose your temper. Every parent has one of those kids, right? Right?!

Hank. My paradox. Of my four, he's probably the nicest, most thoughtful of my children. Among his siblings and friends, he is selfless and considerate. He's genuine too; his spirit of generosity is not for show or for accolades. No, he feels his peers happiness and disappointments acutely and cannot bear their distress.

Hank might also be the most self-centered of my four children. When he is at fault in any situation he is guaranteed to shift the blame, to paint a picture where anyone and everyone but him is to blame. That dirty underwear that didn't make it down the laundry chute? Well, that's my fault for not giving him enough time to get dressed that morning. Or Elisabeth's for distracting him.

Hank and I had one of those days again today. One of those days where I want to scream and rage and somehow just make him understand how ridiculous and frustrating he can be. One of those days where every word out of my mouth is met with shrieks and whining about this and that. A day in which going to the larger of our two local libraries was cause enough to merit a temper tantrum.

A seven-year-old throwing a temper tantrum is almost enough to push me over the edge. Some days it does. Today, blessedly, it did not.

It is now supper time. Dinner will come and go and tonight, after pajamas are on and books are being read I know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Hank will smile at me, and he will mean it completely, and he will snuggle in and hug me, not as a peace offering of a little boy that almost pushed him mom over the edge, but as a little boy who loves his mom and doesn't really realize just how perilously close to the edge he walks each and every freaking day.

And you know what? Like yesterday and the day before and every other day before that, I will hug him back, and I too will mean it completely. Because as easy as it is for him to make me angry, he also can remind me in the flash of a second, how much I love him.

So, does every parent have a child like that? I dunno, but I hope they do.

8 comments:

Elephantschild said...

Welcome to my life, times five.

Schenley said...

Absolutely. In my case, that would be dude #3. That kid knows how to push my buttons - almost passive aggressive. It was really bad last summer, but had been better. However, this morning was not great for us either.

AlexanderTheGreat said...

prayer candle + closet = problem solved

Anonymous said...

any particular saint we should have on that candle?

Joe

sixty-five said...

Your kitchen has a LOCK?

Cate said...

I guess I should have said "shutting or enclosing yourself in the kitchen." It does have doors, but the only lock is my verbal request to the kids to stay out of it. :-)

Terri said...

prayer candle. awesome.

you know who "my" hank is. *sigh*

the Mom said...

Yes, I have those paradox children too.

On the prayer candle? St Monica. Her son was St Augustine. Have you read his Confessions? That poor woman.