Walking on Broken Glass

There is a picture I copied several months back on facebook which has really been bugging me lately. I liked it at the time. Now, I find it totally irritating. It says something like, “Are you happy? If yes, keep doing what you’re doing. If no, change something.”

I’ve been thinking about it with annoyance quite a bit this first week of summer. I thought about it yesterday when Jack smashed a glass bowl and a glass candle jar. I consequently put him in his room for a time out, and the dumb picture again popped into my mind when Jack immediately dismantled his room (I had to drag the bed frame into the hallway when he upended it). I thought about it when he later pooped in his bedroom and then tantrumed because I simply wiped him down and skipped the reinforcing bath “reward” he was banking on.

What exactly should I change, I feel like asking the creator of this annoying, simplistic, bossy picture? What do you recommend? Should I rid my house of any form of glass? Should I forbid bathing ever again? Should bed frames be verboten? What’s the magic bullet of a change which is going to do the trick?

The irony with this scenario is that up until the smashing and smearing began, Jack had been having a really terrific day. He had a happy therapy session, an outing to explore the lovely gardens at Thanksgiving Point, and a good share of trampoline/hose/Otter Pop time in the backyard.

Tragically, today followed a similar pattern of a stellar therapy session, a fun outing with mom and brothers, some peaceful outdoor playtime, and then: Jack pushed over a glass-fronted cabinet, destroying it when the panes shattered everywhere.

Jack’s child psychiatrist weighed in on our rocky transition to summer by noting that this is another instance of Jack struggling to find his footing in a transition period. Transitions are completely brutal for him. Always. So we shouldn’t be surprised. I felt a vague sense of relief and validation knowing that it isn’t something I am failing to do that is sending him into this tailspin, but rather it’s something he inevitably has to work through.

In the midst of yestereve’s broken glass and poop extravaganza, someone knocked at the door. It was my neighbors Kara and Karleen who had chosen really the most terrifically perfect time to bring me a “Summer Survival Kit” which includes but is not limited to: Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate Squares and a bit of light escapist reading, among other treasures. Fantastically, this afternoon Jeff’s sister and stepmom also popped in for a serendipitous visit, and also came bearing Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate Squares.

Interestingly, after the destruction died down this afternoon, Jack approached me quietly and calmly and gave me a long hug. He has never done this before. Later in the evening as I bounced with him on the trampoline, he again gave me a peaceful, intentional hug. Maybe he was apologizing. Maybe he was saying he loves me.

As I have pondered Jack’s hugs, stowed my chocolate in the cupboard, unpacked my survival kit, and tearfully read the tag penned in Kara’s lovely handwriting, I have felt gratitude for compassionate people. I have also felt like God loves me. And I’m thankful He found a really lovely way to show me.

  6 comments for “Walking on Broken Glass

  1. June 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    God is very creative in his communications to us. Yeah for the hugs from Jack!

  2. June 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    First, I’ve been singing Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass” the whole time I’ve been reading your post. I read with such empathy, really. Transitions are so, so hard. I don’t have a glass breaking pooper at my house, but the tantrums and the uneasiness of going into summer have hit us, too. I am SO thankful for people in our lives who know just when to come or call–and what to bring when they do! You are strong and brave and can DO THIS! I’m here for you!

  3. LC
    June 12, 2012 at 1:31 am

    What nice visitors. You were one of those nice friends to me when you sent me a sympathy card about my mom’s passing. That was really sweet and not sure I ever really let you know how much I appreciated that. Thanks:))

  4. June 12, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Blogs need “like” buttons. Thanks Meg, this was beautiful. Also very humbling. So grateful our days both ended with firsts… yours (much more significant than mine) – long awaited loves and acknowledgment. Mine – long awaited, non-induced, non-painful, intentional, in-the-potty Sam poops (a first ever). The two ends of the poop spectrum are terrible territory. But so too can be the middle ground where Gabe (who was nearly potty trained until we started trying) tonight emerged from the neighbors’ tangled bushes having made and smeared a big mess of his own. Unfortunately, I realized too late that by hosing him down, I reinforced the delight of the operation and can now expect repeats. I pray that the action stays in the bushes (and the laundry room as it was yesterday) and doesn’t find its way to the carpet. I don’t know how you do it friend, but I’m overjoyed that Jack finally showed you that he knows you do.

  5. June 12, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Haha, just noticed that our events did not land on the same day. I guess this is the day when I needed to read about yours though ; ).

  6. June 26, 2012 at 12:04 am

    That is what is known as packets of spiritual sunshine. Eat them up!

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