My adult son was home for a visit. Our house is just off of the interstate, and he was en route to a job interview two hours south. Afterwards he stopped in and stayed for a few days.
It was wonderful to have him here and so helpful while fitting in all of the counseling appointments . He graciously spent time with his younger siblings while his father and I sat in an office one morning, and while I sat by myself another.
Time together passed too quickly. I enjoyed listening to him playing guitar while my drummer son played the djembe. We laughed over memories. He was starting to understand and appreciate the parental perspective and was surprisingly gracious.
He patiently kicked a soccer ball in the yard and threw the frisbee in the street and played Cranium and Spot It! with the siblings. There was media thrown in for good measure.
As he was leaving, we chatted a bit about his future and hopeful possibilities. In between gathering laundry and giving out last-minute bits of attention, we shared thoughts and ideas about what might be coming down the road as he ventures further into adulthood.
There was one more thing that he wanted to say, not to be mean and not to make me upset, but there . . . he said it.
It was hard to hear, but it was truth. I assured him that speaking his truth, his reality, about growing up in our home was not mean. It is important to name the hurt, the pain, the broken. To face it honestly.
I could only say I’m so sorry and that this may be a reason why his parents are needing so much counseling, still. That response wasn’t meant to minimize or to fix anything. I let him know I am happy and willing to explore and converse further and to process more deeply with him how he was hurt, wounded, shut down by our clumsy parenting.
At least you don’t pretend your house isn’t messy, he said to me.
I pondered that a minute before asking for further explanation.
Well, you were willing to get help and go to therapy. Things really turned around when that happened. You didn’t pretend everything was good. Not everybody does that.
If only he could see the fear in my heart even that day as I exited my current therapist’s office with the week’s assignment. If only he could feel my pain of not only being wounded but of wounding.
The wounding is far is worse.
No, I don’t pretend my house isn’t messy. To prove it here are some very real pictures that mirror externally what has been going on in my heart. They were taken on my arrival home from said counseling appointments with the intention of blogging somehow about the mess.
Living room. Can you spot Zephyr?
And through it all, grace.