Missed Opportunity

Parenting

Ever feel like kicking yourself?  I had one of those moments yesterday…when I did the very thing I strive to not do, especially in light of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I missed an opportunity to talk.

It was one of those “life happens” deals.  Picked up the kids from school and was running short on time because I had just an hour to work, dinner to make and a funeral to attend.

My 15-year-old daughter wanted to talk and it wasn’t just chitchat.  She wanted me to come into her bedroom and close the door.  That meant it was something especially important.

But how did I respond?  Not only with obvious frustration but these words, “Make it fast, I have work to do.”  Instant shutdown…she put up a wall and quickly responded, “Never mind.”

I realized as soon as those words came out of my mouth that I had made a major mistake.  But I couldn’t retract them.  It’s like squeezing out toothpaste and attempting to put it back into the tube.  Can’t be done.

No matter how many times I apologized and told my daughter that work could wait, she was done.  I would not hear what she had to say.  And the more I tried to get her to spill it, the angrier she got.

Now I was really digging a mess.  And unfortunately, I couldn’t get myself out of it.  My words were empty in her ears.

After a late evening, feeling physically and emotionally tired from the funeral service our family attended, I could hardly keep my eyes open and was heading to bed.  But my daughter stopped me in the kitchen, hopped up on the counter (which is the sign she wants to talk) and began to share some things about her day.

That bed was calling my name.  But more importantly, my daughter was calling for my attention.  And I wasn’t about to have another missed opportunity.

 

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