Frustration builds, and eventually we’re both in tears.
The child of mine, who is me. The stubborn set of his jaw, the stomp of a foot, the slam of a door. I know them all, because they are mine.
It’s like looking in a mirror, time warped and convoluted, but the images I see are my own, staring back at me. Screaming back at me. A face so red you are certain it will just burst. Eyes filled with unshed tears. Rage so powerful it hurts to breathe.
A pain so raw and real, with what age will show has no reason, but today? Today it is his, and it is real enough. It is reasonable.
Teeth are clenched. Angry words seep through them, curling and winding like a cold fog through a dark woods. I know those words, I have felt them, I have said them, as surely as I have regretted them.
My heart is raw. It hurts for the pain I cannot soothe. The pain I cannot heal. It hurts to know that in his eyes, I’m causing the pain. He doesn’t see the mirror yet. He can’t, the tears have blurred his vision. The rage has blinded him.
So I hold on. I cling to what I can. I remember I survived, as did my mother. My mirror.