I feel like I would be exaggerating if I said it happened even once a year, but I know it happened at least three or four times over the course of my childhood. My mom would take a plate, grip the edges firmly with both hands, let out a viking battle cry, and slam it onto the floor as hard as she could.
The glass pieces would go everywhere. I would slink back to hide in my room as fast as I could. And life would go on like normal the next day.
I'm not sure I really, completely understood the dynamics behind that series of events until this week.
Short answer: I don't want to talk about it. Slightly longer answer: Too much, too many people needing me, and not enough time to process.
I used to think the plate breaking happened because my mom was angry, but now I see that it was so much more complicated than that. Angry, yes. But with a side of terrified, a heavy sprinkle of frustration, and slathered in crazy, intense love.
Perhaps unfortunately, it's not in my disposition to break plates. I tend towards the slow burn rather than quick flashes of temper; a drippy melt into a puddle of ugly cry rather than a crash of shattering glass.
And ugly cry is exactly what I did, Tuesday night, as Sweet Husband had just barely gotten home.
He tried to take care of all of us--because that's the man I married--but I insisted, "Just take care of them, I'll be fine."
In the space of a ten minutes I was. I needed to breakdown for a bit, but not forever.
Then, I made dinner. We snuggled the kids to sleep. We talked through the mistakes and need-to-do-that-betters.
And it's only just occurred to me a few days later that that's what I really remember about my mom's plate breaking. Not that she fell to pieces every now and again, but that she always glued herself back together after. That while she might have shattered a plate or two, that plate's brothers and sisters were filled with pancakes covered in syrup the next morning for breakfast.