“Don’t just sit there and stare at me! Blink, do something!” My blood boils. “I hate you!”
My home-for-fall-break 19-year-old stops mid-stride and looks for a brief second; he’s rolled out of bed in time for lunch and my tirade. He is not part of this conversation, but my eyes cut to him. If looks could kill.
I quickly shove my chair back, banging on the wall behind me. Shimming from the table, I swipe a newly formed tear with the back of my hand, as I run from the room, heart pounding, face reddening, a powder keg ready to blow.
Catching my breath, my stride slows. Balling my fists, I begin to pace, turning circles in front of the living room couch, brooding over my situation. I will not be defeated. I want to throw something, but that won’t solve my problem. What to do? For lack of rational thought, I grab a nearby pillow and scream into it until my vocal cords strain with pain.
What to do? I ask again silently looking at the dog who daringly lifts his head to make sure he’s not my next target. He sighs and lowers his muzzle back to the cool tile. “Do you know?” I ask, my voice raspy from my recent screech.
He sighs once more and rolls onto his side as if to say, “You scratch my belly, I’ll scratch yours.” His tail thumps once.
“Okay,” I lean down and offer him a stroke.
More calmly than seconds ago, I rise and return to the kitchen.
With apologetic eyes, I glance at my son, wishing he hadn’t heard my outburst.
He gently pulls a plate from the cabinet and shrugs while he glances at the laptop on the kitchen table. “Mom,” he says in that know-it-all teenaged tone, “Did you try turning it off and back on?”
*A shout out to Kendall Nissen for the inspiration