I watched big tears spill from my grandson’s eyes as I tried to explain to him that the only person he could control was himself through his choices and that one of those choices could not include kicking his mother in the face. He defended his position by stating how mean she was to him and hit him. I asked if he meant she hit him in the face or spanked him. He desperately showed me the site on his thigh where she had swatted him for his bad temper wanting me to understand that he had been seriously wronged and that it was so infinitely hard to live with “a bunch of girls”. I had explained that when he behaved badly to his mother or she to him that I felt the pain also since she is my daughter and he, my grandson. I assured him that I always cared about his feelings and sympathized with his anger and distress but that we, his family, were concerned and wanted to include him in our activities but hurting one another was unacceptable except by accident and all required an apology. He was too angry to apologize but I insisted that an apology for the behavior was in order. I explained that I was not requesting an apology for his feelings of hurt and anger and that we could talk about that later.
How often we, as adults, cannot get past the angry, hurt feelings to reconcile with people we hold dear and regret the missed opportunities. Or worse yet, hold long standing grudges that give us nothing but bitterness instead of sharing in a loving relationship with those few in this huge world that care about our well being. I long for hugs and feelings of closeness instead of distance and resentment.