Take your time. Be careful. Hold it carefully. Be gentle. These are fragile. The children must feel that decorating the Christmas tree is fraught with peril. I am so full of words, too many sometimes. Words give me the illusion that I can prevent mistakes, that I can keep heartbreak at bay. But, things do break and so much is beyond my control. Zeca gently holds a giant red glass ball with her name on it, a gift from her grandparents. She hands it to me to hang up high for her. It slips through my hands and shatters beneath the tree. No one moves. There is silence. I stare down and see a "Z" among the shards of glass. I feel so very sad. It is simply an ornament but I turn to see her eyes fill with tears and the silence is broken when she begins to sob, her little hands covering her eyes, tears streaming down her face. I kneel beside her and she cries and tells me that I have broken something very special to her. I hold her and tell her I am sorry. I am so very sorry and I begin to cry. I sit with the fact that I do things that cause pain, things that are not intentional but cannot be undone nonetheless. I am so full of words and they are rarely enough.
She says these things to me now. I know that she is talking about the ornaments. I've shown myself completely unreliable with glass. I know. I think to myself of my children, however. Take your time. Be careful. Hold them. Be gentle. They are fragile. I can't help but wonder if I will break them.