It was the first time
that defiance flashed across his face
he was tired.
tired of goodbyes.
tired of the tears.
tired of having to reach for tissues every time a bittersweet memory invaded his little heart.
He was tired of all the grown-ups trying to explain something they didn’t quite understand themselves.
He wrapped himself tightly in his blanket
seeking refuge from the world as he tried to make peace with the darkness
but anger seeped out from beneath the loose corners
and I sat there
until he came out from under his cotton cocoon and said:
“I feel like breaking something.”
I nodded my head in absolute agreement
my eyes fixated on the three pumpkins announcing Fall’s arrival in our living room
and I rose quietly from the couch
dug through my husband’s toolbox
guided my young son onto the patio
and placed the pumpkins on the ground
his red-rimmed eyes doubled in size when I gave him permission to swing
and he kept glancing back to make sure I hadn’t changed my mind
but soon his timid arms gave way to the storm brewing inside him
and those pumpkins never stood a chance
It didn’t fix everything.
It didn’t make him miss her any less.
But he spent the rest of the night curled up next to me on the couch
a new, unspoken understanding between us
his shoulders relaxed
his hands intertwined with mine
his salty tears on pause
while I made a silent vow to myself to always remember
sometimes he’ll need a hug.
And sometimes he’ll need a hammer.
5 Replies to “Sometimes He’ll Need a Hug. And Sometimes He’ll Need a Hammer.”
And…now I need a tissue! Oh, so wonderful that he could TELL you that he needed to break something. And so awesome that the pumpkins went to the cause. Love you.
Ain’t it the absolute truth!!!! We all need to break something sometimes, to give us a little control in a storm of things completely out of our control. Sweet boy, I love him so. I only met him once, but he really stole my heart. Your boys are incredible, and you have a family strong as the mountains. Hugs to you all through this seriously NOT fun time. Things will get better. Way to go mama. One of the best I know.
Safe avenue to vent Anger is amazing!
Wow. Powerful. Thank you for sharing. Life stinks sometimes.
Just the title makes the whole story. Sometimes we ALL need a hug. Sometimes, the hammer. Me? I go for both. Sequentially. Great piece.