I'm visiting my parents with the kids this weekend and my mom asked me to read something she wrote in her writing class... it was a five minute assignment on the word "Resignation"....
And this is what she wrote.
The crash in the living room, followed by the wail of six year-old Jack, sent 'chalk on blackboard' shivers through my body. In the middle of the floor, a shattered crystal dragon reflected rainbow designs onto the wall. Jack self-imposed the time out and stood in the corner, head hung, repeating 'sorry.'
What are you doing in the living room? I wanted to scream. Instead I began picking up shards and knew they could not be glued back together.
'I know you are sorry, Jack.'
He turns to me with wet, blue eyes. 'I wanted to dance with him. The dragon wanted to shoot fire... I heard it say that... we had an adventure... I didn't know he would break.' The sentence ran on with a few breaks, a few tears, and the never ending chant of 'I'm sorry.'
I put the dragon tail back on the shelf and went to Jack. I knelt before him and pulled him close and held him tight. 'Shush,' I say. 'I know it was an accident.' He is shaking violently as I remind him, 'Breathe. Slow breaths. In. Out. I rock him until he finally goes limp.
In my mind I repeat, it is a piece of glass, it can be replaced, it's only broken glass. But I can't help noticing the beauty of the prism reflected on the wall.
I study Jack, my 'broken' grandson with autism and say, "I can't fix it, but it is okay."
And, my dear love, I can't fix you, but you are okay.