While at work today, I was facepainting a little boy.
He was about five years old.
His mom came over (his older brother had been watching over him) and said, “Oh, you should have gotten your brother’s name written on your arm.”
I learned, as she began to share, that her son was killed. Blunt force trauma to the head, by his dad, or his step-dad, I am not sure, as my clowny wig covers my ears and I miss words sometimes.
The adult man was drunk when it happened.
The hostess to the restaurant wrapped her arms around the mother, and I attempted to face paint this little boy without crying, thinking to myself, “The unthinkable can really happen. NON-reality can become reality in an instant. I am painting, I am holding the head of and touching the face of a little boy who lost his twin brother in a violent and horrific display of loss of temper….God help me bless this little boy. Help me give him a reason to smile please….” All of this while I smile, and paint his face, and he looks up at me with big wide eyes.
Thinking back, I disagree with the mom’s statement.
I know she was speaking out of pain, and I do not fault her for doing so. I do not judge her, and I do not condemn, but as an outside observer, looking “in the window” at this family’s suffering, I think it is probably not a good idea to compel this little twin who has already suffered more than I can fathom, to write little memorials to his brother on his own body.
If he had asked me on his own…. Of course I would have done it. With all my heart, and as beautifully as possible.♥.
People do it.
I almost did, a small tattoo of a flower on my ankle in honor of my cousin who died a sudden and tragic death from a car accident. But no one called me, and compelled me to, and I am an adult. This child will no doubt grow up and mourn the loss of his twin in a way he sees fit.
Maybe a permanent tattoo, or maybe a memorial garden in the corner of his yard with a statue of a little boy, and no doubt – daily – but it will be something he draws out from within his own soul, of his own accord, and it will be cathartic.
It would be so good for mom to provide as healthy a childhood as she can for this young one, perhaps without reminding him to honor the loss….
But she is suffering. How on earth can she see beyond that right now?
That is why I said I do not judge her in any way.
How could anyone? I wanted to hold her too, but people in the middle of restaurants typically shy away from long embraces with clowns. The hostess was hugging her. She was being nourished, and I was doing my best to fill her son’s cup.
I was in a meeting in a school once, where the guest speaker, a man who does not drink, a kind man and a leader in the community shared with us parents, a day when he lost his temper.
The children’s room was messy. He was on his knees picking things up, his boys in their beds. They’d just climbed in. He was getting angrier and more upset and he threw a shoe at the wall in his anger. His son had sat up in his bed, and the shoe almost hit him in the head. It missed his son – but it could have hit him, and the man told us how shaken he was by the event.
He had thrown it with such force…and it was only a matter of a few inches, he said, and his son would have been hit.
He humbled himself in front of all of us to teach us the lesson he learned at his own expense.
He paid a great price, with much pain and shame.
He shared it hoping to spare a child, and I knew that instantly.
That was a man of honor. That was a man I respect very much – moreso than I did before he spoke that day – and I already esteemed him highly.
Mommies, and Daddies….
They have no place in our children’s lives.
Temper destroys the soul. It breaks down the entity entrusted to you.
Who do you have access to?
How often do you display your temper?
Let us be careful….
Let us learn from the pain of others, and spare our own families unnecessary sorrow.
Before we exact a price that no man can pay with our lack of self-control.