If I told you I don’t throw temper tantrums anymore because now I’m a big girl, it would be a lie.
As long as I can remember I’ve thrown temper tantrums. And as long as I can remember, they’ve been silenced to no avail.
Shame hasn’t silenced them, though he’s tried damn hard. From throwing glasses of water on me to shock me into awareness of his upper hand to telling this grown woman the fetal position is her only option because she deserves a talking to, still the temper rises.
Obligation hasn’t silenced them, though she’s tried damn hard. Being the good girl, Christian, wife, and mother…oh, how hard I’ve worked to silence the temper with obligation. To stay on track, to serve, to cover the bases of responsible living.
But still the temper shows up like a gypsy at a socialite’s dinner party and completely screws with The Plan. She claps her hands and stomps on the table and lets the strap on her left shoulder drop while she yells, “Wake up!” to the shocked and more socially accepted.
One time this happened with house guests. I threw a glass at the window where a lawyer and his wife sat on the other side on my front porch. It was during a conversation about homosexuality and I was told to, “Hush and Settle Down.” It didn’t go over well.
One time I called a friend who worked in drywall because I needed him to come fix the hole my foot had punched through my bedroom wall in utter frustration from trying to be the perfect mother and not getting the results I expected. The stress would not stay quiet one more moment.
“Oh, don’t be so dramatic.”
“You’re such a drama queen.”
“You need to lead a boring life.”
And there’s nothing like seeing the wide-eyes of your own children, or their disdain as teens and wanting to squash the temper forever.
But when I listen, I hear the whispers.
Temper: Anger, Passion, Fury, Gall, Indignation, Outrage, Storm.
My anger would scream for the abused.
My passion would fight the misogynists.
My fury would warn you to not ever use shame to control us again.
You might share my gall when children are not nurtured, but told their heart is wicked.
You might share my outrage when others are cast-aside.
I would allow myself to feel my indignation towards denial, especially among my heritage and home of evangelicalism.
I would know that young girl and wise woman who sometimes storms with temper is on to something and will name the injustice, judgment, control, denial, and oppression for what it is.
“The girls we once were are coming back to us now. May we brave learning to rebel as a spiritual discipline”–Brandy Walker
I want my daughter and I to rebel against shame and obligation. Against judgment, injustice and oppression. I want my daughter to throw a temper tantrum when women, children, artists, the poor, or anyone who is not just like us is not invited to the table.
A table a gypsy is stomping on.