A mother’s heartfelt post about parenting her son in the midst of the hard and painful has captured the hearts of parents worldwide.
Kathleen Fleming, from Asheville, North Carolina, began her story with the image of an enormous mirror that her son had shattered.
Sharp, dangerous fragments littered the hallway, and Fleming was probably finding shards for months after cleaning up the mess.
But it’s easier to clean up broken mirrors than to repair a child’s broken heart, so Fleming gathered her composure and began to parent.
“It took my breath away when my son stormed into the bathroom, frustrated, angry, fed-up for his very own, very significant to him, reasons,” Fleming wrote on her blog, Majestic Unicorn.
“And when he chose to SLAM the bathroom door, causing the heavy mirror mounted to the front to slip out of the hardware holding it in place and crash onto the floor – a million, BROKEN pieces were left reflecting the afternoon light.”
Fleming began to cry at the overwhelming sight, walking outside with tears running down her face.
“It’s amazing how alone you can feel as a single parent in moments like these,” she lamented.
But in her quiet, she heard the sobs of her sorrowful, agonized little boy.
“His soul hurt,” Fleming knew. “This was not what he expected either. Hello, Anger – I don’t remember inviting you into my house.”
“Deep breath, #MamaWarrior. Deep breath. That small, fragile soul needs you right now,” she wrote. “He needs your very best. Your biggest compassion. Your most gentle and firm mama love and reassurance. More deep breaths. Go Mama.”
With a deep breath and a renewed compassion for her son, Fleming cautiously navigated around the glass and opened the bathroom door where her son sat, sobbing.
As his frightened eyes met his mother’s, the boy began to apologize profusely, hot tears streaming down his face. Fleming scooped her son up into her arms and listened, loved and reassured him.
She gently talked with her son about the emotion he’d been feeling — anger — and how together, the two of them could learn better ways to manage those big, scary feelings.
“Sometimes things break. Sometimes we break them,” Fleming wrote.
“It’s not the breaking that matters, the how or why. What matters is how we choose to respond to the brokenness.”
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