Mike Dariano

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Spilled Milk, My Daughter, Anger and Me

I know why I get angry sometimes. It's because I'm part Irish. Quick to anger, like a match that goes from a petite piece of wood with a red cap to a burning flame that can singe a finger. Sometimes I get angry because I'm stressed. My job is to raise the two most important people who've walked on the face of the earth. Other times I get angry because I'm busy. I need to grade these papers, send these emails, and pay these bills. Can't my daughters see that? How are they so blind. I have (had) lots of excuses for anger.

When I get angry I feel it well up inside me, I imagine that it's a mushroom cloud, black and red. It starts just above my navel and rises through my chest, passing through my heart like a speeding fog until it reaches my vocal cords where it strums the shouts I loose from my mouth.

"Stop. Don't do that. Go to timeout"

The other day I felt the anger coming. The spark was lit when my daughter spilled a cup of milk she was trying to carry from the kitchen counter to the table. If I've told her once, I've told her a hundred times to take one thing at a time. She had her fork and cup and the cup fell to the floor. I let the spark get just below my heart until the calmness of mind descended faster than the cloud of anger could rise. I remembered that anger is a creation, something that I can create and destroy with a single thought.

I thought like a monk:

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