By the time my son reached the kitchen, the tears were pinging off both cheeks.
He began blubbering about how sorry he was, but he couldn’t spit out what had happened. “You just have to come see it,” he sobbed.
And so I did. I followed his heavy footsteps up the stairs and into the bathroom.
He shook his head ashamed; his shoulders drooped with remorse. Then he did his best to sob-talk about the sunscreen. How he’d found it in the drawer. And how he knew it was the kind we weren’t going to use anymore. And how he thought it was a good idea to rub it all over the sink and the faucet because, well…he didn’t know. And how he can see now that it wasn’t a good idea at all because he can’t get it off.
When he finally breathed again, I held him. I held my son who had disappointed no one but himself. My son who felt unworthy of love but needed love the most.
The sink was a mess, completely protected from the rays of the sun.
But in this moment, it was my little boy’s breaking heart that mattered, his fractured spirit.
And so I loved him with both arms around him, his chest to mine, his snotty sleeve around my neck.
And we forgot…forgot for those healing minutes about a silly tube of sunscreen slathered in the sink.