"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.
The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”
All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.
And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence.”
1. Are her lips like the hot chocolate your mother made
During the winter months when you were seven?
Or have you not tasted her well enough to find the fine granules of cocoa that lightly come with each kiss?
2. Do you know her favorite songs?
Not when she is happy, but when she is sad.
What music reaches inside her ribcage and softly consoles her heart?
3. When she is sad, are you on the phone or are you at her door?
Words do not wipe away tears, fingers do.
4. Do you know all the things that keep her up at night?
Do you know why she has gone three days without sleep?
Do you know of the insurmountable waves of sadness that wash over her like a tsunami?
5. Do you know the things to say that will calm her heartbeat? The places to touch? The places to love?
6. Everytime you see her do you kiss her like it’s the last time but love her like it’s the first?
7. Do you love her?
8. Do you love her?
I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.
I know it’s selfish, but I think I get jealous the most when you’re around other people instead of me; Because that means they’re the ones that in that moment, get to hear your voice, see your smile, and feel your presence, and I wish I had the ability to do that all the time.