Anger Itself: Lessons from the Hole in the Wall
By: Naomi Pelss | Date: October 9 2016
The other day my twelve-year-old daughter invited me to see some special art she had framed on our wall. She said it was a piece of my very own artwork. Confused and intrigued, I came to see what she was talking about. This is what I saw:
My daughter placed an old wooden picture frame on the wall to create a piece of “art” out of the hole in the wall. She even gave it a title and placed it above the frame. She found it quite amusing as she took me over to see it with a very pleased look on her face.
You see, there has been a hole in our wall for some time now. I can’t even remember how long it has been there. There was an attempt to place a wall guard over top of it once but it was unsuccessful. Most days we walk by it and we do not even notice it. It is hard not to see it now.
“Anger Itself” is an aptly named piece as it was created in one swift moment of anger. I was stressed out one cold winter morning trying to find hats for all the kids in the closet and my blood pressure was rising with each passing moment as I feared they would miss the bus to school. I was at the height of my spaz; in the midst of a tantrum that would out-shine any two-year old, when I slammed the closet door so hard it swung back and hit the wall. This hole was a result of anger itself.
I am not sharing this photo because I am proud of this. In fact, it is quite embarrassing that I allowed my frustration to take over and this was the result (and that we still haven’t fixed the hole). I thought long and hard before sharing this story, but I decided to share it for several reasons:
- Sometimes parents lose their cool. It is unfortunate and it is not good, but we are only human and we have so many emotions to express, even anger itself.
- It is important to apologize and forgive one another in a family. When parents lose their cool, they need to take a breath and say sorry and admit they could have handled it differently.
- Sometimes you just need to look back at a stressful time and laugh at how ridiculous you were. My daughter thinks the story behind the hole in the wall is hilarious. She is right. Keep calm and parent on.
- Children will remind you of your faults in a way that forces you to improve. My children like to remind me of my most embarrassing moments and it brings quite a sense of humility.
- When you make a mistake, don’t try to hide it; own it. Put a great big frame around it and give it a title. Okay, this might be a bit extreme but what my daughter did for me had a profound impact.
I plan to leave the framed hole in the wall like this for a long time. My anger is on display for everyone to see.
Every time I walk by it, I am reminded of how quickly my stress can lead to anger and destruction. Every time I walk by it, I am thankful for children who forgive me, for family who understand me and people who love me unconditionally. Every time I walk by it, I try to see the humour in a bad situation. Every time I walk by it, I see my imperfections staring me in the face and I vow to be a better Mom. Every time I walk by it, I remember that my children are watching me and especially watching how I handle my emotions. Every time I walk by it, I realize I am lucky to have a funny and creative daughter who continually pushes me to take a good look at myself and improve. Every time I walk by it, my words and my actions get a little softer.
This is the lesson from the “art” on my wall; from “anger itself”.
About the Author
Naomi Pelss is a wife and mother of four children ages 12, 10, 7 and 1. Her youngest blessing came when she was 41 years old. Naomi is the manager of a child care centre, and has been a registered Early Childhood Educator for almost twenty years. She blogs about her parenting journey at www.morewithfourblog.com Some of her posts are informative, some are sentimental, and some of her posts are funny. All of her posts are honest and real. Naomi is also a contribute at www.losethecape.com, www.catholicmommyblogs.com, and www.togetherfamilies.com. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn.