”YOU HATE ME!!!” (sob)

”No honey, I don’t.”

”YES, YOU DO!!!”(sob)

”No honey, I don’t.”


”Yes honey, I do.”

”AAAGH!!!” (sob)

”AAAGh!!!” (sob)

”Aaagh!” (sob)

fade to quiet

Man, words can sting, especially when you consider the source

I think it was a day or two before New Year’s when I heard these words shouted down from the rafters and assault my ears. As I write this, I forget what even caused them. Maybe we were both having a bad day, maybe it was just one of us, maybe there was no reason at all except for a nine year old going through whatever emotional crisis a nine year old can go through. Maybe it was because a forty five year old didn’t have the patience to deal with the crisis, real or imagined. Maybe it was the stress brought on by the holidays and having to bounce back and forth between her mom and me.

Yeah, I know, forgive and forget right? Here’s the thing. Of course I forgive her for the words and it’s probably a good thing that I forgot whatever incident sparked them. I think she probably has too. She probably forgot even saying them. Here’s what I don’t know though..

I don’t know when I’ll be able to forget them. I try to brush them out of my mind but every now and then they keep coming back. It was the first time I’ve heard them from her and hopefully, it’ll be the last. Hopefully, each time they reverberate through my brain, they’ll get softer and softer until they finally disappear altogether. Hopefully, there won’t be a repeat performance.

When all was said and done and she was fast asleep, I went upstairs, peeked into her room, gave her a kiss on the forehead, tucked her in and whispered for her to “sleep the sleep of angels.” I went downstairs, sat at the kitchen table and gathered my thoughts on what to do about it the next day.

When she woke up the next morning, after an initial period of silence and wary looks, we both smiled at each other and made promises to never let that kind of thing happen again. Let’s hope that those promises hold true.

Funny, this episode wasn’t in the manual.