You have no idea how this brought back so many memories. Not very pleasant memories, too.
Here is the thing. My mom had short temper. She always lost it when I dropped or broke things by total accident. I was terrified of what would happen once something goes wrong and I am somehow involved. And this milk example? True story in my case, except with sour cream. I still remember it like it happened yesterday. I got a glass jar with sour cream out of the fridge, put it on the counter, and it fell. There was shattered glass and dairy all over the floor, and all I could think about was, “Oh my gosh, she’ll kill me now”. Not thinking of being careful trying not to get hurt on the glass, but actually terrified of my mom’s reaction. And of course she got furious and I was punished.
There were many other similar cases that I still remember quite clearly to this day, and they always involved me being scared, and I mean really scared, and then punished. I wish I’d remembered those accidents differently, or maybe hadn’t even remembered them at all.
Another thing I regret about having these childhood experiences: the way I react when my own kids drop or break things. I have to try really hard not to lose it and yell at them, because it is what I lived through myself, and this is how my body wants to respond to the same situations involving my own kids now. And you know what? It is awful that my initial reaction is to be like my own mom, and it took LOTS of practice to be more conscious, to stop myself when the scream is in my throat already, and remind myself not to be like that, and not create the same memories for my own children. After all, kids drop and break things. It is what they do, that is how they learn about life. Why crying over spilled milk and traumatizing a child over it? It is milk. It is JUST milk. It is worth nothing compared to the memories your child will have about you when he grows up, and the way he will treat his own kids in the future.
Now, how do you want to be remembered?
Photo: R. Nial Bradshaw