Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nondescript Yelling

To my son Tommy,

Occasionally as a father we find it necessary to raise our voice and we don't even know why. I call this the nondescript yell. The circumstances of this specific yell are pretty standard. We usually have little to no idea what is actually going on, but have this urge to sound out with a booming call of your name. It often coincides with a third sense that you are up to no good or annoying your mother.

Recently I came in and you were whining or arguing with your mom, about what I had no idea. Instead of spending effort in figuring out the root of the disagreement, I simply bellowed, "Thomas Leo!" You snapped to quickly and immediately stopped your whining. 

Then you asked me a very simple question, "What?" I was thwarted. I had no idea what I was yelling for and if you even deserved my stern attention. I had broken the rules of guilt and innocence and presumptions. Then it dawned on me that I had a perfectly valid reason for yelling. 

You were involved in a disturbance of the force. The natural harmony of the morning was broken and it needed to be fixed. I could raise my voice and call your mother's name but that would not restore the balance, plus I am too attached to my testicles to even try. Unfortunately, you being the halfling of the group, I decided you were my best chance at correcting the situation. So. I thoughtfully responded to your "what" question with, "Stop pissing off your mother." You accepted my authority and flawless logic and stopped, at least for a moment.

Whether it is a fight with a parent, sibling, or friend... a father wishes not for justice or fairness but rather harmony and calm and everyone to shut it! We will find the path of least resistance to achieve this state of being quickly when it has been lost. If we have to resort to the nondescript yell, so be it.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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