Never get between a mama bear and her cub. Or between a Papa Ricky and his 8-year-old's first bumper car ride.
They wouldn't let me ride with him. Then I watched in impotent agony as he could barely reach the pedals, lurching and stopping and starting and managing just one round of the rink in the entire time. By the time it ended he was crying & jumping into my arms and I was in a screaming rage.
I scooped him up and swarmed the young woman who had refused to let me ride with him. "THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE A LITTLE BOY HAVING TROUBLE AND CRYING, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!"
She started to answer and I just cut her off. Each time she tried to say something, I just yelled back more, then stormed off with my sad, scared children. I don't even know what she was trying to say - explain, apologize, offer another ride, I have no idea.
By the time we reached the customer service office I'd calmed down just enough to remember that being civil gets one alot further. More calmly explaining what happened, they bent over backwards to make it better - refund, free parking, free ride on anything we wanted and walking us to the front of the line for the front seat of the 1936 Giant Dipper roller coaster. Our beautiful day at Santa Cruz boardwalk ended in happiness.
And in a lesson. I rehashed my reactions with the boys and asked which was more effective. I let them know that I was sorry, and wrong, for treating a person the way I treated that young woman who was just doing her job. That much anger for something as insignificant as a bad ride is unacceptable.
I hope my boys saw how fiercely I will defend them, but at the same time saw that I will usually, and eventually, use a humane, relational and effective approach to do so. Rage is blind, deaf, and un-compassionate, and it escalates rather than solves or heals. The next time my child is wronged, I will just as fiercely defend him, and at the same time be a much better role model for how to resolve conflict.
Write to Renew - One of our previous graduates, the talented Jay Nahani, is leading us in a Write to Renew workshop June 14th. For writers and non-writers alike, this one-d...