Losing my cool
The other day I lost my cool.
I yelled at my son. A hot, loud dad-snarl.
He was already in trouble for lying about his homework the night before and his attitude toward me sent me seeing red.
I stalked toward him and saw fear flash across his face. No matter your age, seeing your parents mad is a scary and unsettling thing.
It took me a few hours to calm down. In fact, I wanted to go to bed without talking to him. I wanted him to feel my silence. I wanted my silence to hurt him.
But I know better. Life has taught me silence in such matters only leads to bitterness and resentment. Silence only deepens wounds.
Cindy suggested I talk to him before we went to bed. I didn’t want to. And she didn’t say it but offered a look implying I was the adult and parent and I should act like it.
Cindy left the room and took the other children upstairs.
I cleared my throat and asked my son to sit on the couch next to me and watch baseball on TV together.
After a few pitches, I asked him if he knew why I got so angry with him earlier.
He said yes.
I told him I don’t like getting angry. It’s not who I am. But it was his behavior that caused my anger.
I said I was sorry for yelling at him. I told him I shouldn’t have acted like that way.
I told him that I want to help, not hurt him.
A few more pitches and he said, “I’m sorry too. I love you dad.” Hugged me and went to bed.
At the end of the inning, I turned off the TV, flicked off the lights, climbed the stairs, got ready for bed, rolled into bed, and laid in bed still a little ashamed of myself but proud my son possessed the maturity to forgive me.
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