My wife was born three-and-a-half decades ago this week. Over one of those has been lived with me as her husband. Sometimes I quip with friends on their birthdays, "I'm glad you were born." Although it often comes across flippant, it's really a serious statement. And in a sense, it's the essence of what we mean when we utter the more banal, "happy birthday".
My life would be different ( Read More
When I was in little league, my coach was thrown out of one of my games for threatening to assault the umpire.
As a pre-teen, I played a round of golf with an accomplished golfer-peer who practiced daily at his father’s behest. After missing the green on an approach shot, in a rage he broke his golf club over his knee.
When I was in high school, during a sports tournament a parent from my academy was thrown out of a game for cursing at officials.
Another time after a similar set of incidents, the school board from the same institution legally barred a parent from attending any f Read More
Yesterday I yelled at my four-year-old. Screamed really. With gusto.
It wasn't a fair fight.
The details of how the scenario came about are insignificant compared with the broader phenomenon. (That is to say, I blew up at him because of a slinky.)
When my platform of politeness, self-control, dignity, and maturity shuddered a touch, it gave way to anger -- under which was fear of loss, probably under which was actual unrelated loss. I could see the same anger, fear, and sadness in my sons eyes even as the scene unfolded. Looking back on it later, I felt as though I had kicked a kitten.
Perhaps there are parents who do not identify with losing their cool with their kids. Perhaps there are some who hold it together 99.9% of the time (or who at least appear to hold it together). Yet I'm sure we all move through the parenting years with different styles. I talked with a f... Read More