The silverware drawer was full of coffee. The odds and ends at home in this niche were swimming in the cold, brown liquid. The automatic feature of my coffee maker is a marvel dreamed up by the angels themselves. The instant gratification of pouring a steaming mug the moment my bleary eyes and shuffling footsteps can get me to the kitchen is pure, unadulterated bliss. But when the carafe doesn’t get emptied before the lovely little machine begins brewing its fragrant morning nectar, my coffee receptacle overfloweth.
My husband had forgotten to empty the carafe the night before. Again. Normally the mess is contained to the counter top; a nuisance to be sure, but not too terribly inconvenient. This time, however, the excess liquid had found its way straight into the drawer, creating a monstrous mess.
In the early years of my parenting journey I was a lousy mother. I wasn’t quite sure how to relate to these barely sentient creatures and I was not naturally blessed with an abundance of patience. The kids would tweak every nerve I possessed until hitting the final one, at which time I would blow. Having allowed my annoyance to creep to higher and higher levels, the pressure of my suppressed anger would eventually take on a life of its own. Like a natural disaster, my mouth would open and all of my fury and frustration would spew forth in a hot torrent of words. Screeching and yelling in a most unbecoming fashion, I would erupt all over my children.
The child’s screams were an ice pick in my brain. Piercing and impossible to ignore. I scanned the throngs of people, searching out the source. There. A young man emerged from the deli department with a squirming, screaming little boy. The man wore a grim smile as he struggled to hold on to the bucking child. Moving towards the exit, he expertly dodged the boy’s flailing fists, humiliation etched in his every movement.