For me, though, home movies are not a piece of magic. I watch those long ago moments and wonder where I went wrong, what more I could have done. When I see my husband and son walking together down a wooded path holding hands, my little boy lughing and smiling and playing and jumping as little boys are supposed to do, it tugs at my heart in a way that nothing else can. It becomes an ache that claws away until inevitably tears begin to fall and I feel failure with a capital F creeping into my every bone. What happened to make those magical moments disappear? How did we go from loving, easy-going family to the point we have now reached?
Yesterday, oma and opa came for a visit. It wasn't a visit that turned out the way we always hope they will. Kaeden ended up throwing a tantrum, to a degree they have yet not seen. The extent of damage one mound of anger and disharmony creates is something that can't be turned around. It stands the test of time, in a manner which we'd rather it didn't. Such behaviors, such words and complete uncontrol, are not soon to be forgotten. The tremebling fear holding their littlest grandson in his own fearful tremor takes a piece of your soul and rips it to shreds. Knowing what is happening, seeing it first hand rather than living it through stories, is not something I can take back, no matter how much I wish I could. Nobody should have to be victim to that feeling of helplessness and pain.
We watched home videos. Erwin asked Kaeden to clean up the tools he used to make a mess in the freshly cleaned porch outside. Kaeden didn't want to and left the room in anger...to his bedroom, where we left him to chill out. When he had enough time, I reminded him he wouldn't have dinner until he was done cleaning up. And then it all began. The disrespect, anger, spitting, threatening. And it wasn't quick to stop.
The home movies played on. Scenes of happiness from another time, another place threw laughter out of the speakers, as screams and crying and dirty words flew presently around our home. The laughter and smiles contined to play on. And on and on and on. Soon, nobody was watching. The air in our home was stripped of life-giving oxygen as we all held our breath. Only the happiness from the tv continued to breathe.
My scared little boy, my angry husband, my hopeless self and a non-existant Kaeden swallowed up in his own little world of pain..along with my in-laws, standing by horrified, wanting to intercede, but me stopping the further round of aggression.
Still the home movies played on. Later in the evening, after a sort of settling had taken place in our home, a calm after the storm, but still lingering, this tension, this secret of which nobody wanted to speak, I sat with Kaeden, the home movies still flashing across the screen. He laughed at the little boy he was, the little kid climbing rocks, his beautiful face covered by blonde hair with a plastered on smile, a smile and a sense of complete joy, which never left him. Kaeden laughed, as the boy on the screen before me and the young man next to me, and I cried. The pain of all that is lost, all that has been swallowed by the passing of time. And the home movies continued to play on.