Sometimes children become so angry and just can't vent with words. Many hit, swear, kick, yell, or pound walls. Some spit. This is for those of you who have lived with one who spits.
He spit on me again today. What is it about spitting that is so demeaning? I've been drooled on, bled on, and thrown up on more times in my years parenting than I can count. Yet, deliberate spitting still pushes a button on my that is very different. It is a visceral button, resulting in disgust that is almost primal in feeling. Thank You for helping me hold my temper when that happens. For helping me stay outwardly calm, hiding the revulsion I felt. After all, it is just wetness, not all that different in content than the baby drool of long ago. But it is the deliberateness, the intent that infuriates me. Help ease my anger, help build my patience. Help open my eyes to the feelings tumbling inside him that led to his impulse. Help him learn to fight back without debasing, to fight back with words, not spit. Even better, help me teach him to solve problems before he reaches a point of needing to fight back at all.
Excerpted from "The Caring Heart Speaks: Meditations for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents" by Gail Underwood Parker Artwork by Anna Parker David from the book cover.