I’ve had this phrase jotted down in my writing folder on Evernote for a few months now: don’t be an ass. Forgive the language but it makes the point.
It was supposed to be a post someday about somebody or something else. Not about me.
Maybe I’d catch someone being a jerk or I’d hear the horror stories of a bad boss from a friend. I had the post half-written in my head. It was going to be great.
But then last night, I was the one that was the ass. And honestly, I didn’t really want to tell you about it.
I would have rather it been our little family’s secret. Not shared with those outside of the car I was in when I lost my cool.
I seriously thought about deleting the blog idea and then hoping it would all go away. I apologized to my family after all, surely that’s it right?
I’ll tell you what I did in a second, but let me give you some context.
I’ve been on this authentic transparency kick lately. I want to live that way, really. And I want others to as well.
But most of the time I tell the ugly parts of my story it’s in a way that’s tied up with a pretty bow somehow. Tough financial situation five years ago. Time I blew it with my kid but has a good ending now. Major fear I battled but look how I pushed through it.
That kind of transparency.
I’m not arguing that a blog or social media is the right forum for raw, authentic transparency in every situation, but I couldn’t not write this today (yes, I’m aware of the awful grammar). I was on the hook and couldn’t get off without sharing.
So here’s what happened, the me being an ass thing.
I was off work a couple days this week for Spring Break. We stayed in town, got a ton of stuff done around the house and had a great time together.
Yesterday, Brooke worked on her design stuff the entire day. So I happily filled in her typical role at the house (it’s a topic for another blog but whoa, her “typical” role of mom is unreal).
One kid got picked up at 1pm for a play-date with a neighbor. Another got picked up at 3pm for a birthday party at the movies. Another had to be dropped off at 6pm for a different birthday party, but not before 1pm play-date kid had to be picked up on the way.
Oh, and Brooke had our oldest with her, so I didn’t even have the full contingent of children.
Play-date kid called at 5pm and asked if that friend could come over and have a sleepover since it was Spring Break week. Sure, I’ll grab you guys at 6:15 then after I drop off birthday party kid.
Confused yet? I was.
6pm party time, I try and drop Silas off. It’s at the house of his good buddy on his baseball and basketball team. We’ve been there a bunch.
Surely this will be quick, I’ll get him in and then back to pick up the others.
When I tried to drop him off? Cling city. Holding the legs, wanting me to stay, one of those moments.
Maybe if I stay for 5-10 minutes, he’ll warm up. Tried that. Didn’t work.
I’m getting frustrated now at this point. Practically trying to guilt him into staying, begging our youngest to stay with him, trying whatever.
I’m late to grab the play-date turned sleepover duo, so I’m texting those parents apologizing for holding them up with their evening.
My 5-10 minutes turned into 45, I hung with the boys and parents and finally told our little man that I had to go. He still wasn’t warmed up and didn’t want me to leave.
So I told him he had to come with me and I’d bring him back for the last 15 minutes of the party. Thinking there’s no way he’d actually leave.
But he did.
Which sent me into orbit.
We got into the car and I looked at him and basically dressed him down, “What in the world bro? Why can’t you just stay? What’s wrong with you tonight?”
Not someone else. Me.
“Dad, I’m just six and I didn’t feel comfortable. Please don’t be mad.”
Ugh. All the ugh’s.
In the meantime, Brooke had called, I had snapped at her, and the cycle continued.
The tirade lasted 10 minutes in total, but it was 10 minutes longer than it ever should have been.
I’ll spare you the pretty bow, but I did apologize, asked for forgiveness and we all moved on with our night.
But the little outburst? It says far more about me than him. After all these years, I’m still the one in need of grace and forgiveness.
So, are you ready for the moral of the story? The authentically transparent point?
Don’t be an ass. It’s not worth it.