Turn Around and Swim

Life | Lessons | Laughter | Love

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Samurai Slap Away 

Appearing in the winter dreariness at the top of our upstairs landing was a young boy who appeared to be part samurai warrior and part Aunt Jemima It was utterly confusing and I blinked a few times before wrapping my eyes around the sight of this boy. 

We had just returned from Sunday Mass when my overtired and wildly irritable 9-year old son stepped a boundary and got mouthy with me. It was as if some unholy spirit suddenly invaded his body. He spent the weekend “elsewhere” and spent a good part of it playing video games in “raids” with “grown men”. Something of which I do not allow or condone in our home. 

He was cranky and teetering back and forth from launching a granade at me and being my sweet son I carried in my womb for 9 months and one week. Then it happened, almost in A Christmas Story fashion, he said the unthinkable. Yet, the unthinkable was accompanied by a few more unthinkable(s) and then the unthinkable(s) just wouldn’t stop. 

So, as I was caught between seeing my beautiful, blue-eyed boy and a horned demon, I did the unthinkable. I slapped his sweet little cheek rosy red. We both immediately froze. And then my gentle child reappeared and the tears welled up in his eyes. 

He was instantly slapped back to reality as if an exorcism of sorts had occurred. We had a long talk about video games and saying no to things that seem fun but hurt us in the end. That sometimes making the decision to go to bed early even when no one else is holding you accountable is wisest of choices. We both apologized and I thought we went on our merry ways with a new sense of appreciation for the moment that overcame us both. 

A half hour past, I motioned for him to freshen his face, tidy his clothes and restyle his hair. Big brother’s basketball game was coming up and trek number 11 from home to court was soon to be underway. 

That’s when the samurai warrior appeared. Head and face fully wrapped in a black, dry wick long sleeve Under Armour compression shirt. All I could see were his enormous blue eyes. Just as I was about to lose my cool because we needed to leave, he spoke. 

Under the wick his muffled voice told of the day he spoke harsh words to his mother and she cracked him on his cheek. The shame he said was too much to bear and the redness on one cheek that didn’t match the other was to awkward to explain. The puffiness under his eyes that showed of a child distraught was too obvious to give way that tears had been shed. Such a heart felt muffled theatrical lead, I couldn’t resist. In his quest for sympathy of sorts, I did the unthinkable again. 

I laughed. Hysterically. I had nothing else to offer. Just pure, unfiltered belly laughter. What in the world are you doing my dear son? Like the adorning of the Scarlet Letter, he made his way one foot after another down the staircase, passed me, out the door and into his booster seat with his head and face fully cloaked in black Under Armour dry wick compression shirt.

That episode was a week ago. And although we have both moved on and have forgotten all about the unthinkable(s), I still can’t help from cracking up at the sight of him and his dramatics. You never will know what will come of a good old fashioned slap across the old cheek and usage of Under Armour dry wick long sleeve compression shirts. May the warrior in us all, fight the good fight!