This morning, I was laying in bed waking up when I heard crying and Walter asking my brother to look at the Goofy One's hand because he threw a snowball at him. My brother said, "You threw ice at him?" "No, a snow ball." "It's ice." "There's snow under the ice." "No, there's not. It's ice." Out of bed and to the kitchen I go. Fresh out of bed, no coffee, mostly asleep, I lost my temper and I called my son a dipshit.
Standing in the kitchen, looking at my son, I'm furious. I cursed his impulsiveness, lectured him on thinking first and called him a dipshit for throwing ice at his brother when he should know better. He sat in the kitchen chair looking at me and did what I least expected. He diffused the situation and turned my entire argument back on me with a bland look and a sentence. "You don't need to call me that." I'm surprised at his quiet demeanor and his direct words addressing my behavior, not me as a person, and out of reflex I keep going, "I'm sorry, but was that not a stupid thing to do?" He looks me in the eye, keeps his emotions out of his face and says, "Yes, it was. But you don't need to call me that."
I'm in shock. My brother starts laughing and tells Walter, "You think that's bad, you should have heard the things we were called growing up!" and I'm thinking... he's right. both of them. I look at my son who has still not broken eye contact, not moved a muscle, standing his ground. I see a boy on his way to becoming a man facing down a bully, not responding with aggressiveness but not backing down and I think of my own words, my actions, my hypocrisy, the cycle of abuse- intentional or not, abuse is abuse... and... I have no response available except to kiss my boy and tell him how proud I am of him. So very proud of the way he stood up for himself. #Respect