Friday, October 24, 2008

Even When I'm Mad at You

Sometimes I get mad at my son. Yes, it's true. Sometimes he pushes his friends at school or tells someone he won't be their friend anymore, and I get a talk from the preschool director. Other times I catch him in a lie. Oooh, lying to Mama makes her really, really mad.

My son knows the look.

He knows the set jaw, the narrowed eyes and the frozen look of disapproval.

"Are you mad at me, Mama?"

"Well, I'm not exactly happy with you."

"You're not HAPPY with me?" His big, round eyes peer at me in the rearview mirror. Tears are imminent.

"I'm just disappointed."

"I'm sorry Mama! I will never, ever do that again! I promise!" His entire world is collapsing around him.

"I certainly hope so."

"Are you still mad?"

"A little bit."

"YOU ARE?" Armageddon is upon us.

"You know, even when I'm mad at you, I still love you."

"You do?"

"Yes. When you love someone, you care about them a lot. When you love someone, you get mad at them sometimes, and sometimes they make you sad, and other times they make you laugh. But you still love them no matter what."

"You do?"


"You promise?"


"Okay, Mama. I'm sorry. I don't want you to be mad at me anymore, even if you still love me."

"Okay, I won't be mad at you anymore if you promise to try and do better."

"I will."

Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I treated everyone as generously as I treat my son. What would that cost me? Would I lose something in being so forgiving? What would really happen if I loved like that and someone took advantage of that love.

Would it really be the end of the world?

Would I really lose anything in that?

Aren't we all just children, trying to figure it all out. Isn't the best any of us can offer is to try and do better.

Sometimes I don't think so. Sometimes I think adults are supposed to know better. But what if they don't? What then? How are any of us ever going to learn unless someone loves us like a mother? Sure, it's not my job, it's not your job. But what if we did it anyway?

What if we just went ahead and forgave everybody? And loved them. And let them fall, helped them up, brushed them off and guided them in the right direction, with only their best intentions as a guarantee?

You never know. Maybe if you loved someone like that, they'd love you back like that.


  1. Or they'd steal your wallet as you bent down to pick up their bag...

  2. ...well said.

    And a good reminder.

  3. I see blood!!!

    Sorry wrong blog.

    Its hard to remember that when someones mad at you though.

  4. Or you would named the newest saint.
    It's something to strive for.

  5. I have this sort of love. From two people that are not blood family. Each a different sort of love but it's this kind of forgiving love. I may make them mad, but it blows over quickly and apologies are made.

    When you allow yourself to look for this kind of love by opening up to's a very wonderful thing.

  6. :) true that, Mama-san.

  7. Bless you, change me. It works for me every time. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. Sometimes I wish I could treat my son as generously as I treat the world around me.

    The older they get, the more challenging it is.

  9. Girl, you are six-two in heels. You're intimidating to anyone, especially with the "look".

    Hell, I am six-one and I'd be asking if you were mad at me.

    Speaking of which, when are we heading out on the town of Royal Oak (my hometown)?

  10. It's always a good idea to treat people the same way you would treat children. I gave my boss a time out the other day.

    Sex Mahoney for President

  11. I love this blog, because it is so true.

  12. I think I've come around to this same philosophy in recent years. Where once I would hold a grudge and be angry, now I let it go and move on. Life is too short and most of the things that get us upset are not committed with that specific intention. We internalize and make it all about us and our anger. Letting go and moving forward is the best way to focus your energy for productive thoughts rather than destructive thoughts.

  13. I love it and I agree with xo12 philosophy. Life is too short. Do not sweat the small stuff.

  14. Because it is way more fun and interesting to criticize and mock people. Except to our kids. They get a hall pass.

  15. Hi Mandy,

    I know someone who lets anything negative roll off as if a rain drop.
    She has succeeded in her private and public life.
    The example she has set is awesome.
    She treats all as if they are the best of the best and what has happened: many (including the usual jerks) treat her with respect, they are honest (more so then with most) and what she says is the truth. All who know her, trust her.
    She does not try this with sociopaths.
    This works, it works very well,
    you loose nothing, you gain so much.


  16. I think we'd have world peace if that was the case.


  17. Oh man Mandy.

    I wish I knew how. I've struggled with this a lot lately. I have been very shitty at forgiving people. My anger shrouds me.

    I need some kind of cure all self help book I think.

  18. Mandy, you are a wise woman ... for that and many other reasons, I hold you dear.

  19. Love your dialogue I felt like I was in the room with you, good stuff. Thanks for your writing.