Monday, June 18, 2012

Sassy Pants here today working with Ms. Molly. I have been down over the hill in the oak grove routing around for tasty morsals. Squirrels are wonderful little critters. They hide their nuts and then forget where they put them. After a long time those nuts start to sprout--oh, they are good! But routing doesn't take a whole lot of your brain, you know, so you can think about things. Digging in the roots I remembered a story I shared with Molly and she thought I should tell the story in case it helps.

A brother and sister were outside playing; they had turned on the water faucet and were playing with the hose. Mom sent the older brother out to turn the water off because Dad said not to play in the water. Little brother and sister paid no attention and kept right on playing in the water. Older brother turned off the water before they all got in trouble. At the very moment he had his hand on the faucet Dad came around the corner. Older brother was in trouble. He loudly declared, "I was shutting it off! they turned it on and I was shutting it off because you said we should not play in the water."

Dad did not listen. He punished older brother. Later Mom told Dad that Older Brother was innocent. All Dad said was, "Guess the joke's on me!" There never was an apology. Dad never admitted that he was wrong. Young brother and sister were never punished. It was not fair and Older Brother was angry...angry at Dad for punishing him when it was not his fault and for not listening, and then for not apologizing, and then forlaughing and thinking it was funny! But it wasn't funny and it wasn't safe to be angry with Dad!

What do you do? You try to forget about it. Days and years go by and it becomes buried like those roots I was digging in, and twisted and entangled with other memories and feelings. After a while the brain has a difficult task figuring out which root goes with what memory. Everyone sort of forgot about what happened and the years went by. Years later Older Brother began to have a real problem with anger. He would blow up like a volcano and no one knew what would cause him to blow. Even he could see that he was much more angry than he should have been when his kid left her bike in the wrong place. He could see it wasn't right to be hugely angry over a little thing.

He began to dig. Like me looking for buried acorns, he had to dig through a lot of other stuff that had nothing to do with it before he found that acorn of anger at his dad. When he forgave his dad (even though his dad never apologized) then all he had was a bad habit. Forgiving Dad in his heart took the steam out of his anger. Now all he had was a habit of yelling when he was angry. He could break a habit! At first he could feel himself becoming angry but he could not stop--he still yelled. Then he would become angry but he could stop before he yelled. Then he would feel the anger rise and go back down. Finally he got so he didn't even become angry; he could talk about a problem when it was happening and sort it out! But as long as that anger was buried inside with no apology and no forgiveness he could not control his anger.

Ms. Molly thought I should say that if any of you get hugely angry about things that just need a little anger she could listen if you want to try to figure out which twisty root is connected. But mostly, kids, just work at solving the problem right then and there! If the problem is big enough maybe get an adult to help you sort things out. So if you have questions...just ask Molly!

Sassy Pants, signing off here!

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