"What do you want?" I ask. But he doesn't answer. He can't tell me. And he doesn't know why I can't understand.
My insides grow cold and I want to cry, but I've used up all of my tears and have none to spare. I'm dead inside at this moment, my eyes drifting out the window so that I can pretend that I'm somewhere else. Anywhere, but here in this moment, watching my child hurt himself.
I try to understand, solve the puzzle of his anger. "This isn't what you wanted for lunch?" I ask. And yet, I know how he feels. I want to punch holes in the walls and slam my head against the table. The rage visits me too. Because he can't tell me. And I can't understand.
I wrote this this afternoon after a really difficult lunch with Elijah. Tonight, I went to a local event featuring a speech pathologist named Teri Kaminski-Peterson, author of The Big Book of Exclamations. She said some things I've heard before, gave me some new ideas, and most of all, reminded me that there's no such thing as false hope. There's just hope.