Knowing, unknowing...

"You don't know me at all," I shouted.
I threw the words at him.
And he responded, "well, you don't know me either".
We were caught up in one of our verbal duels
Hurling hurtful things at each other.
Wanting to wound the other
To lessen each others' pain.

But we forgot a child was watching and listening
Looking on as the two people who make up his world
Tore it down, word by word.

We have done this before, you know
He has seen us angry
He has seen me hysterical.
He has seen his father cry.
Why are we so easy to anger?
Why do we shout, rant and rave
Knowing he is there.

I am ashamed of us.
Of how we have wounded, our not-yet-five-year-old child.
For already, we are changing him by our actions, our words

Today, when I went to pick him up from school
He was happy, playing with his friends.
Till I asked if he needed to use the restroom
Or something as innocuous as that.
And our little boy responded:
"No, I don't need to go. No, you don't know me".

My own words, thrown back at me.
By my little boy.
And I have only myself to blame. 

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