Autumn

Autumn

Friday, March 9, 2012

As Requested, A Piece From The Past

We're on our drive to summer camp. Traffic that morning was bad. The car in front of me is slow, I mean slow, and I can tell the sucker is on his cell phone. I can't move right, I'm stuck. I get, well, mad.

Me, "Mumble, mumble, sorry "bad word" so and so."

I regret my words almost immediately. I look over at Little Bit and she's turned away as if the bloomed lavender Crepe Myrtles were the most important objects in here little life. I felt bad.
We move along at a silent snails pace for a few more minutes.

Then I say, "Sorry, Honey."

Her, "Papa."

"What, Honey?"

"It's okay, Papa, he can't help it."  I glance over with one of those questioning looks we all give children. She continues, "He's only a Democrat."

Silence. Then, "Little Bit."

"What, Papa."

"Why did you call him that?" She's still looking out the window, hasn't moved.

Her, "Papa, I love you more than orange juice,"  in a rapid little voice, quick.

My heart broke. She now thinks she's in trouble for something I said and she feels her response has placed the blame on herself.

This is all my fault and it began many months ago. It's all due to my big mouth and my impatience with others. Allow me to explain, please.

We were driving down a busy city street, and like above, a driver had cut me off. Little Bit was with me, of course, and without thinking I yelled, "Damn Democrat." She heard and remembered and had seen the person in the car.

Thirty minutes later we're standing in a checkout line at our local Publix grocery store. We're second in line. The lady in front of us is swiping one plastic card after another. Each swipe the cashier would say, "Sorry, it's rejected."
I began to mumble. Little Bit looks up at me, takes my hand and in a crystal clear very loud voice said, "It's okay, Papa, she's just a Democrat."

Now, I'm a fairly large man, I fear no human. I have a great deal of respect for others but I know my limitations and have long outgrown the need to pick fights, so when I say I wish I had had a place to hide at that moment, I mean it.

If looks could kill they would have that day. Yet, it was my fault.

Back to the ride.

I turn to Little Bit after she said she loved me more than orange juice and reached over and took her hand. Said, "Sweet heart, Papa isn't mad at you. It's okay. Please look at me." She looked over and I continued, "I love you, you're not in trouble. Papa is mad at himself and I'm sorry I said those words. Do you understand?"

Silence. We're close to her school and I feel the need to heal my habit and heal her hurt feelings.

"Little Bit."

In a small voice, "What, Papa."

"Sometimes I use words I shouldn't. Words that can hurt other people's feelings and I will try real hard not to say those words again." She's locked her little brown eyes on mine. "Please, Honey, don't repeat bad words you hear Papa use, okay."

I pull into the driveway. She sips the last of her morning orange juice. Then, "Okay, Papa, I won't."

I helped her from my truck and she reaches for my hand, "I still love you more than orange juice, how much do you love me?"

"More than the whole world, Little Bit."

A kiss and she's gone.



(This is a post from July of last year.)



Stephen

18 comments:

  1. Thanks, some stories make us smile and are worth repeating.

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    1. Thank you, Bubba. I hope you're in better spirits today. I'll see you soon.

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  2. We've all done it, and humbling ourselves in children's eyes is doubly hard for most adults. But it's worth it, even at the cost of losing a bit of that hero worship they hold for us at that age.

    You did okay, Stephen. And she still loves you, so it's a win-win.

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    1. Thank you, my good friend. It is humbling indeed. I do believe she still loves me. She sits on my right leg as I write this hard at work rubbing my back. She said hello and why do you live in such a cold place...

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  3. I have been through this with my children. It hurts me to see them respond or even repeat what I have said. My thanks for allowing me to see it from your perspective.

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    1. I kick myself whenever I allow my emotions to control my mouth...and wonder at the damage I've done. Thanks, mmasse, it's a honor to be your friend.

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  4. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)March 9, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Knock, knock.
    Who's there?
    Orange juice.
    Orange Juice who?
    Orange juice the best Papa ever!

    (Just love your Little Bit stories) :0)

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    1. Nice. Thank you very much, you sweet lady you...

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  5. Phyllis nailed it. I've done it once myself (traffic, imagine that). Luckily, mine are a bit young yet, but I'm under no illusion that they aren't taking it all in.

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    1. 45er, yes they do take it in..she's like a little recorder and misses little. Thanks, my friend...and happy shooting.

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  6. Replies
    1. You are more than welcome, my good friend.

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  7. i loved it back in july and i love it again, now! don't be too hard on yourself, Papa! this is going to hurt but you really are just a human trying to do your best. remembering that your Little Bit adores you and will copy your every move and word - that'll help ya stay strong and true. you are a good man, dear one...the testament to that is the company that you keep here! you keep some good company, my friend!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. As always you humble me with your kind and sweet words, my dear kymber. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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  8. Made me smile. Good one. You are so lucky.

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    1. Thank you, John. Yes, the Good Lord has blessed me with a rare one.

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  9. I still say she was right and they both more than likely were democrats :)

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    1. They were, PP. Right to the core. Thanks, my friend.

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