Saturday was our last day with my parents after their visit. Hosea had an incredible two weeks with extra people to play with him, read to him, snuggle him, and basically give him undivided attention whenever he desired it. He loved being able to show his grandparents all of his favorite things to do around Northern Ireland. It was a busy two weeks, and we are all a bit exhausted after our many adventures. Saying goodbye didn’t seem too difficult, but today we really started feeling the effects of “grandparent detox”. It reared its ugly head around four in the afternoon. My boys were getting antsy having been inside all day, and the house began to feel a little too small. I loaded them in the car and headed to Straidkilly Nature Reserve for a little predinner adventure. Three turns out of our street and they were both sleeping soundly in the car. Naps in the car often put them in poor moods but I decided to persevere and hope for the best attitudes when we arrived. When I pulled into the entrance Hosea woke up. He started off with a little wake-up crying, but it quickly escalated into shouts of, “I want to go home!”. So we turned around and drove home.
But getting home was the trigger that set him off. We got inside and he cried his little heart out. It was as though his heart had been broken into pieces. He screamed that he wanted to go to the forest. I have never seen him so distraught! 5 minutes before dinner was ready, I caved and put him back in the car to try another short adventure.
When we got out of the car at Drain’s bay for a short beach walk he had finally calmed down. He looked up at me and his eyes started to tear up, his chin quivered and he said “Daddy, I’m sorry I was yelling. I just really miss Narna and Grandad, and I really want them to come back.” His little voice broke at the end of that sentence.
He had so much emotion in him that he couldn’t contain it, and screaming was the only way he knew how to deal with it. It reaffirmed my commitment to help my boys learn from a young age how to understand and express their emotions.
Walking peacefully on the beach was calming and cathartic. It was as though we could both sense what some call a “thin place”, where the space between heaven and earth is thin enough that you can almost tangibly feel the presence of God. That thin place helped him detox some of the nasty emotions that were plaguing him. I know that if we all go to God with an earnest longing to touch him, we too can detox from the nastiness of our sin.