Monday, June 13, 2011


It began with a flare of temper, a whine, words thrown out of an unkind heart, pressed through lips set in anger.

It began with me being pressed for patience and time, and he wanting what she wants and whining for it, then sassing and complaining for it.

And it ended with my hand reaching out to pop the sassy mouth, to get the attention, to display the end of my patience. It ended with a sound smack to the bottom and turning her to face me.

And then I saw it, the mark.

On her lip. Cherry red, beginning to swell, with the slightest bead of blood.

She reached up to wipe it away, this blood, and her tears spilled over her hand.

And blooming like a flower into my mind came a thousand memories. A pandoras box of ghosts set loose in my heart.

I made my child bleed. With my hand.

Who am I? Who is this person that would do this? What monster has sprung from me without me even knowing, without me being vigilant enough to see it coming?

God help me.

Not one second passed from me seeing that I had hurt her to scooping her up and apologizing, sobbing over her little head, kissing her a million times.

She cried with me, all the while telling ME not to cry.

"It's okay Mommy. I still love you. Don't cry. Don't cry." thru tears.

I don't deserve a child this good, this loving, this forgiving.


There it is.

Proof that vigilance against what you have known is necessary. That becoming complacent and thinking that you would never, could never, aren't capable of hurting as you were hurt just isn't true. Because it creeps in when your mind is blurred with anger and aggravation. It does not lie dormant.

I made a mistake, one that I vowed to try never to make the moment I saw her sweet face. To never intentionally hurt her. Discipline, yes. Hurt, no.

I can't take it back. I can say that I did everything possible to make amends, to help her to know that I made a mistake and that I wouldn't do it again.

Right now she is upstairs playing. She has not mentioned it since this morning. Mark assures me she is not scarred, something I cannot accurately gauge myself. Because I am as scarred by the small mark on her upper lip as I am by the river of marks on my own body...the circular cigarette burns, the drawn and puckered lines from glass and metal.

I guess we are all marked in some way. Inside or out, we all carry the past on our skin or our soul.