The young boy and his grandmother happily entered the fun center. Hand in hand, they approached a young woman in her low 20’s who was standing with her boyfriend. The young woman reached down to hug the boy, who hesitantly hugged her back.
A short time later the family was standing in line making small talk, while the boy played beside them. The young woman reached down to interact with him and he quickly moved away from her. She snapped, “What’s wrong with you?” He didn’t answer, which made her even more upset. “Is this because you barely get to see me?”
Her anger was clearly heard in her voice and her eyes stared down, piercing through him. He backed away further. “Whatever!” she said loudly as she turned away from him.
As a bystander, I’ll never know what brought the family to that point and frankly it’s none of my business. But my heart broke for that little boy, who couldn’t have been older than four. What most likely started out as excitement to see his mother, ended in sadness, disappointment and blame being placed on him.
I’m sure that his mother loves him, or else she wouldn’t have gone there to spend time with him. But what he needed, was to be shown that love. Instead of a happy, fun-filled day with his mother, all he experienced was arguing, anger and yelling. Had she put her own issues to the side for a couple of hours and given him the positive attention that he needed, the day would have ended with happy memories instead of hurtful ones.
Many times we get angry over the choices we make and we take that anger out on others; usually on those who are closest to us. It’s not that we’re angry at them. We’re angry and disappointed in ourselves. This is something that can only be corrected when we face our issues and see ourselves for who we truly are.
I have no doubt that this is what the young woman was experiencing, as the hurt and disappointment in herself was evident in her behavior. Unfortunately however, she is not the only one hurting. Her son is too.
In life bad choices are often made, marriages end, and couples separate, but no matter what the situation may be, it’s not our children’s fault and they should never have to pay for our choices.