I said no.
And I watched her storm up the stairs and heard the slamming door.
Some days, nine is hard.
Some days, thirty-six is hard.
My daughter and I were both frustrated. With each other. With ourselves.
Before bed, she slipped a note, half scrawled in cursive, half in print, under my door.
Half a little girl. Half a preteen.
“Dear Mom, I’m sorry I said ugly things. Every time I do that it’s because I get mad really easily and get all steamed up and angry and say stuff I don’t mean to say. I don’t know why I get worked up like that, but I’ll try harder. Every time I get worked up like that, please remind me to try harder to not say ugly things. Please pray for me and forgive me. Also I want to stop getting worked up like that, but it’s hard for me not to. I don’t know why I do it. But I need your help not to get mad or worked up. I love you and I know you love me.”
I read her letter a dozen times. It reminded me so much of another letter.
A familiar one about a raging inner battle to control a quick temper, a bad mood, an imperfection, a battle against me.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me….Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7
I hugged my girl tight and told her she wasn’t alone.