shame

12-1-17

shame
shame on me for shaming you
innocent and naked
we were hurrying to get in the shower
but also wanted some music
to dance to and distract you from the pain
of your chest burn scab
and your two week old fingernail wound
and fresh diaper rash
it is hard to be 18 months old.
so Christmas tunes to the rescue
and I heard you make a quick puddle on the floor
didn’t even think
just exclaimed loud fast SIMON!
mostly out of surprise
but you heard it loud
shame amplified in your new tiny ears
eyes wept immediately
body shook
our hearts sank together.
I know this is a wound I can’t fix quick
I see the hurt in your eyes
“I’m sorry Simon”
are words that feel useless.
I plead with myself to never forget this moment
to stop the murky foul smelling tone of shame
from leaving my mouth again
it came out before I knew it was there
the tone I’ve heard many times from others
and even more from myself
to myself
to my husband
to the people I love
shame

but alas
I did it again at the store later
when you were excited and squealed
about two chimichangas from the freezer isle
“You don’t even know what those are”
I said to you
in a way that quietly steals away joy
that is completely unneeded
I corrected myself.
“do those feel cold to you? Those are called chimichangas.
They taste kind of like burritos. I love
how excited you are about them!”
deep breath
we are both learning about shame.
words can demean, even when we don’t mean for them to.

I’ll hold you now, tight and close
and feed you the best kind of healing food
“more nurse,” you ask
your toddler eyes sparkle bright
while you sing
with the lullaby hippo
my son
my joy
I am sorry
I will try harder
we will learn about shame and love
and many more things
together

4 Comments

  1. You are the best parent. Remember, no parent is perfect. Your best is heads and shoulders above many other’s best. Simon loves you and he is a happy baby! I love you girly and you are a great writer!!

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  2. I recently started telling people (declaring) that I know I was a successful parent, both my children lived… I have twins and they are now 32 almost 33 years old.
    I will join your blog.
    Because I don’t know how else to contact either of you (like email or a thank you note).
    I was having a very bad day – all of a sudden – not due to anything in particular… I looked up expat and Mexico real estate… wanting to make a plan to get the hell out of here. I just don’t want to keep watching as our country continues to deteriorate under our current political leadership.
    THEN
    I read the article one of you wrote in The National Catholic Reporter, Living in Donald Trump’s America. I had googled “I don’t want to live in Donald Trump’s America”. However, I found no “how to leave” pages or instructions. But I found your article. It gave me strength.
    This poem warms my heart and connects with me too. I am fond of saying – love is a container in which we live.
    Stay strong, stay loving, be kind to yourself and others.
    Love, peace and respect always
    Candie

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  3. How poignant! And, I’m pretty sure, how so many parents have felt at one point or another in their careers of molding and shaping another human. Lord knows I’ve made more mistakes than successes, but my kiddos are amazing creatures, and love me just the shame. As I’m sure your Simon does!! Thank you for having the humility and insight to share!

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    1. How poignant! And, I’m pretty sure, how so many parents have felt at one point or another in their careers of molding and shaping another human. Lord knows I’ve made more mistakes than successes, but my kiddos are amazing creatures, and love me just the same. As I’m sure your Simon does!! Thank you for having the humility and insight to share!

      Like

      Reply

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