“No, I don’t want them &@#$ cookies. Ask mama if she wants them,” he says, his pencil scratching out the alphabet on dotted lines.
I’m standing over the stove, stirring butter and brown sugar, when I hear him. I drop the spatula in the syrupy mix and spin on the heels of my bare feet as I fly into the next room.
“What did you say?” I ask him. The girls muffle their giggles and I dart sharp eyes their way.
“I said I don’t want them &@#$ cookies…because I don’t. I’m full,” he says. His brown eyes circle wide and I know he has no idea what he’s just said.
“Where have you heard that word?” I ask him. “We don’t say that word.”
“Juan says it,” he tells me. “He says it all the time. I didn’t know it was a bad word.” He’s crying now, his head resting on his workbook. The other kids drop their heads into their own books and I know they’re only pretending not to listen.
They know we’ve just drifted into uncharted territory and they know their mama has no idea what to say or do.
“Well we don’t say that word and if Juan says it again tell him I’ll wash his mouth out with soap. And I’ll wash yours out if you say it again. You hear me?” I reach out to rest my hand on his head and I run my fingers through the short red bristles.
He wipes his face with the back of his hand and I see him as the 6 year old he really is…and we’re both shaken up and a little more broken than when we first rolled out of bed.
I make my way back to the stove and I’m crazy mad at this place and these people and this one kid who has jacked up my nice little boy and I’m mad at God for inviting me into this story.
I stand in the kitchen scraping down caramel sauce and sucker punching this life of mine, and God reaches down into my own state of wretchedness and I’m broken twice before noon.
And it’s grace that breaks me open and mercy that draws me back to Avent street…
Because who can stand neck deep in both grace and mercy and not be broken wide open to pour it out?
As always, I’m joining Lisa-Jo over at The Gypsy Mama for her Five Minute Friday. We write, for 5 minutes, with no editing, no proofreading, with the expectation that those reading will extend a spoonful of grace for our typographical errors and thoughts that are not quite fully developed. Today’s prompt is Mercy and staying true to my voice and our story, I have written a little diddy about our time around the homeschool table. And yes, my red-headed boy Isaac, broke up the picturesque moment by dropping the D-word on us, not once, but twice. I have to say- he was innocent Y’all…but only in terms of the D-word…For all other things, he was and still is, guilty.
And for those of you dropping by today, you may like to know that the Man and I are in the thick of planting a church and I write here, in real time, meaning that I write in order to document God’s movement in our place and in our lives- the good, the bad, and the ugly, and so I write on Lisa-Jo’s prompt as it fits into my day.
(What can I say??? I’m committed to this process…)