“Of course I’m not mad! I’ve made it perfectly clear all you have to do is tell me ahead of time! No, I’m not getting on your case. I’m not yelling, I’m merely raising my voice a little. Because! Because it seems no matter what I tell you, you don’t listen. . .just like now, you’re not even looking at me!”
Joe had turned away from his dad and stared at his food, one of his favorites but he was no longer hungry. He felt his dad was out of control. “It was no big deal, I just wanted to meet the guys for basketball at the park.” Joe got up to leave the table.
“Where do you think you’re going? You’re not excused. Sit down so we can talk about this. We have a problem and you ignoring me isn’t going to solve it.”
Joe sat back down but didn’t think his dad would listen to him. Lately his dad liked to be loud. Joe’s mind was in a muddle. How could his dad be so upset by this? All he wanted was to go out with the guys. Homework was done, chores finished, he thought he deserved a little time for fun.
Joe’s dad was thinking almost the same from a different perspective. He knew Joe was a great kid, never giving him any trouble. “I got so upset over nothing. Maybe he mentioned it and I don’t remember. I have had a really bad day. I shouldn’t be taking it out on Joe.”
Joe looked at his dad. His eyes were tired, in fact he always seemed tired lately. They didn’t have fun together anymore and Joe missed that. “Maybe I should just stay home, talk with him. I can play ball with the guys tomorrow”.
Both father and son looked at each other and started speaking at the same time, “I’m sorry”. . .and then smiles as they realized what was happening.