Late last year, we had a bad day. A VERY BAD damn day. It was one of those days that you wish the world would open wide, swallow you up and put you in the pit of hell that you belong in for being such a bad parent. I lost it with my son. Lost it so far I almost forgot where I put it. I did not beat my son physically but I did with words. I yelled. I screamed. I did things that made it not a proud day in my parenting history. I took him to school and that is how I started his day. With angry words, recriminations, admonitions – angry, hurting words. I felt horrible. He felt horrible.

I came home and sobbed. I called Jess and sobbed more. I confessed what I had done and was beside myself. I wanted my son so badly. I wanted to hold him and console him and beg forgiveness. I wanted to take away that bad morning. In her quiet way she said, Go get your boy. So I did. I went out the door, drove to his school, knocked on the portable door and said to his teacher – I need my son. I told him to leave his things and come with me. He was confused but excited.

We didn’t get ten feet from the portable and I broke down crying. I apologized over and over. My son, my sunshine, my heart – he came over to me, hugged me and said it’s okay Momma. After I dried my tears, we went down to the lake and skipped stones and played and talked. We talked about what each of us needs to do so we don’t have another bad day like that. I asked him what he would change about our family. He said the yelling and Vanessa’s attitude. I confess I giggled at that one. I agreed about the yelling. I asked him how did he think we could change the yelling. I explained why I yelled and why his behavior made me angry. He seemed to understand and we agreed that he would try harder to listen and I would try harder to keep a lid on it.

After we played some more and talked some more, I took Thomas back to school. I never offered an explanation and the teacher never asked. I am hopeful that in the years to come, my son remembers the trip to the lake far more than the bad way I parented that morning. I hope he sees that adults need to apologize, need to work on themselves, need to try to respect their kids and need to try to make things right when we’ve made a mistake. I hope out of all the things I would have liked to have done for my son that this one step I did take makes an impact. That he remembers the good and the bad.

Go get your boy – damn good piece of advice. Thanks Jess.

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