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Hiero-apology

My son, Alex, has a strong will.  Strong like bull.  He’s a force to be reckoned with when he doesn’t get his way or when he’s challenged.  I think this can be a good thing.  I really think it can pay off in the future.  Also, it could pay off when he’s faced with peer pressure in the future.  The struggle is that sometimes he needs to recognize that he is wrong…or has acted poorly.  And when those times arise he needs to learn to apologize.

This is something that he hardly EVER does.  Not sure if this is because he isn’t sold on the fact that he was wrong or actually did something wrong, or if he just doesn’t like to admit what he already knows.  My guess is that usually it is that he doesn’t like to admit it.  So, I think I can count on one hand how many times he has apologized to me without being forced to do so.

Last night was a forced apology.  They’re not my favorite, but I’ll take them.  His heart is never in it, but he’s got to learn what it feels like and get used to it (if he ever gets married he’s going to need that discipline).  His mother went to visit him in his room/cell and gave him the bad news that part of his punishment was to apologize to those he wronged…namely dad.

He didn’t come down, didn’t come down, didn’t come down.  Finally, just before I had to leave for the evening to a meeting he came around the corner and passed me a paper.  Now I’m used to this kind of strategy – write a note of apology.  Everyone wins: you get your apology and he doesn’t have to actually “say” he was wrong (I picture the Fonz doing this kind of thing as a kid).

This note was different.  It was written in hieroglyphics.  A page full of pictures: birds, hands, cups, snakes, squared spirals.  It took some considerable time and energy to do so.  I was impressed.  Next around the corner came another sheet that was a key to understand the glyphs.  This kid is working REALLY hard not to say he is sorry.

God, who have you given us to raise? 

I took his apology and gave him a hug.  Then out the door with my apology in one hand and the key in the other.  I sat in my meeting and painstakingly replied to his heartfelt apology by writing my response of forgiveness in hieroglyphs.  It’s the least I can do, and I’m hoping I’m speaking his language.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

    We have one of them Strong Willed children, too. (I’ve taken to calling him ‘Teflon Man’ on occasion – because nothing sticks to him. He really does a superb job of deflecting responsibility for his actions, making certain nothing can ever get pinned on him. But I digress.)

    I chuckled at your closing paragraph, Jim, about hoping you’re able to speak his language.

    For what it’s worth – and if this post is any indication – I think you’re doing just fine.

    • January 25, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Teflon man! That is soooooo it! Thanks.

  2. Mitzie
    January 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I was recently at a meeting where somone was talk about the need to always be right. What they said next really helped me,” Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy,”. It got me to thinking that if Im always trying to be right, it takes away from being happy because Im focused on getting my point across and causing drama.And there is nothing wrong with being wrong and that sometimes our mistakes can teach us what kind of people we want to be. Im not saying your trying to be right in this situation. My thought is you might be able to try and share this with your son in away he can understand it for his age. More and more I learn my strong will is the cause for alot of my own causing and heartache. What I have learned from God is it ok to be wrong because His, My Savior paid for it all, so I may know forgiveness of my wrongs. And it took 35 years to really learn that. I pray your son learns it now instead of this 30’s. I see what a great Dad you are and in the end that is going to pay off. Blessings to you on your journey in parenthood.

  3. jaimiVB
    February 5, 2012 at 6:30 am

    I miss you and your fabulous family! This post gets me all kinds of excited for life beyond our current circumstances. This baby is going to come one way or another, and in no time, we’ll be deciphering hieroglyphic acts of self-preservation and wondering what we’ve gotten ourselves into. Or so I hope. Thanks for a boost of hopeful energy as I start my day. : )

    jaimi

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