When he was 5
Updated: Apr 2
Several years ago, my kids and I were having dinner with my father in law who grew up with hate and anger from a rage-full father. From time to time, this comes out of Papa Aldo in full force as it did that night when my son decided to push the glasses off of his head for fun. The reaction from him was swift and full of loud and heated rage. In that moment, my son lost his center by internalizing this energy. Samson was only 5 years old at the time and the only defense he had was to bury his head and fight back the tears. I could have had many reactions to this and most of them would have been justified but the reaction I did have was empowering for me. I began speaking deliberately, slowly and calmly and told our Papa Aldo that in our family that even though we are not always perfect, we try to speak to each other with love and patience. That I could see my son seemed upset by his grandfathers outburst.
Papa Aldo was not used to being challenged and uses anger to manipulate his environment. He was quite flustered with my direct calmness. He started to sputter blurbs about how “people just allow their children to do whatever they want and blip blip blip…..” at which time I stopped him and said that Sam is quite intelligent and present and would understand being told to be careful with his glasses. I also said that when I react with too much heat I step back and apologize to my kids as this is not the energy they will grow and thrive best with. When he continued to justify the situation with obstinance, I met him with understanding, presence and kept at him directly. I said that we were 2 adults that could discuss anything and that we would get through this.
In the past I would have cowered before such a strong personality and tried to avoid this situation at any cost. Or if it did happen the next and only tact was to turn icy cold and NEVER let this person back in to the fold. Isn’t that what our world does? Flee? Turn the other way? Denounce or fight power with power, justifying our actions and standing on our thrown of self-righteous indignation. But in that moment, my gut reaction was to face the situation head on and meet Alton with respect for where he was while still taking care of my child’s need to be heard and met at his own heart.
In the end, Papa Aldo apologized to Samson who met his gaze with confidence and the desire for connection. The charge was over and we got through this really great learning lesson. I got to model what true communication was for my children and I was reminded of my own strength, confidence and ability to really hold the space for where people are at. I attribute my intention for peace in this situation to my commitment to my own spirit which I strive to nurture through yoga, meditation, chanting, movement and further creative outlets. It is my deepest belief that if each one of us turn inwards to nurture our truest nature, peace will manifest outwards in a vibrational healing across the planet. As women, we embody the powerful attributes of Mother Earth. We all carry that at our core and thus, this healing is already a natural part of our nature. In our current political culture, there seems to be less and less care taken when communicating but our children need our loving presence now more than ever. #parenting #consciousparenting #consciouskids