“I’m outta here.” Joshua raised his always soft voice to an annoyed holler. His face scrunched in fury, he threw his clothes into a duffle bag.
At eighteen, he had become upset with me and left home.
I sobbed for three days. For one thing, I couldn’t imagine any of my children being that furious with me. For another, it was over a trivial matter.
It was during this time after Joshua graduated high school that he became difficult to wake in the mornings for his summer job. He had an alarm, but he would shut it off and fall back to sleep. For about a month, I would shake his shoulder and tell him, “Son, you’re going to be late for work.”
At first he got up. In time, nothing worked but to throw back his blankets and demand he get up. Now.
I did that one time too many.
Joshua moved in with friends in an apartment. That first weekend after Joshua left, our community celebrated the harvest of strawberries with the Strawberry Festival. My daughter, Jami, asked me to go with her and her two daughters: a baby and a toddler. I never knew when sobs would overtake me, so I told her I couldn’t be out in public.
At the end of two weeks, Joshua moved back home as suddenly as he’d left. As he was unpacking his duffle bag, I entered his open bedroom door. “Son, I won’t bother you anymore about being late. If you lose your job, you lose your job.”
Joshua looked up with a wide-eyed expression. “Mom, I’m sorry. I wasn’t mad at you. I just took stuff that was bothering me out on you and used that as an excuse.” We hugged each other, and my shoulders heaved with my sobs of relief. He rubbed my head, and in his familiar, gentle voice said, “Don’t cry, little mama. It wasn’t your fault.”
Lord, I understand my son felt safe enough to direct misguided anger toward me, knowing I would never stop loving him. In Jesus’s holy name I’m grateful he’s home. Amen.
~Your Mother Memories~
~Your Prayer of Praise~
~A Scripture of Encouragement~