Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret
Day 025 – August 16, 2011
This week’s photo challenge from WordPress was about regret.
First the picture…
…and now the story, which has a double dose of the weekly theme.
Our cast of characters includes your lovable narrator, who happens to be a man of forty-two with short-cropped gray hair currently living in Lima, Peru with his family courtesy of a fantastic career opportunity that was presented to his lovely wife (the start of the whole kit-and-kaboodle backstory can be found here).
The other member of this dramatis personae is his middle child, his ten-year-old son.
On this Tuesday afternoon, my children departed from their school bus and as they were about to enter our house, I noticed that, once again and for the umpteenth time, the shoes of my middle child were untied. We have many constant battles in our home and one of them is my middle child’s inability to keep his shoes tied despite repeated entreaties to him. Our usual pattern is that his laces are untied, I or my lovely wife implore him to tie his shoes lest he trip over them causing injury and loss of limb, he lazily flops the laces around each other to do a minimally adequate job, and then we repeat the theater in fifteen to twenty minutes when we notice his aglets scraping across the floor as he walks.
In a voice harsher than normal – and for reasons of brevity, I need not go into great detail why this particular Tuesday south of the Equator had been a rough for me – I humbly requested that my middle child tie his shoes.
He dutifully replied by placing the offending foot on the side of the planter outside our entrance. As he leaned down to knot his laces, the pottery became unbalanced, fell to the ground, and shattered into numerous pieces.
Did I mention we are only renting this house while here in Peru and this was not our outdoor decoration he had just broken? Did I mention that I was already a good eight hours into a less-than-pleasant day?
My middle child immediately regretted his decision to place his foot on the planter thus creating the fabulous fragments you see artfully arranged above, but he had little time to ponder that as I erupted with a force similar to the likes of Etna, Mauna Loa, or Montserrat. Cranking the volume of my voice up to 7 (a level also needed when trying to be heard at music concerts), I tore into him about his inability to tie his shoes, his laziness for not simply bending over to tie his shoes, and about every other transgression he had done since he turned eight.
It was a bad day for me and I made it worse for myself by screaming at a ten-year-old boy for doing exactly what I would have done had I been in his (untied) shoes (and my parents are free to chime in on the Comments section and let me know I have).
When I calmed down, I apologized to my middle child and joked that we would need some serious amounts of tape to fix up the planter. I wanted to tell him that “we can fix it, my dad’s got an awesome set of tools”, but he wouldn’t have caught the reference.
I regret my error of unleashing my frustration on a ten-year-old.
It’s only pottery and he’s my son.