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

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