You might have seen this on my Twitter stream this morning … here’s the story behind that tweet.
When you’ve been married for as long as I have (19 years), you learn there are certain things you should, and should not say, in front of your spouse.
Especially when young ears are around.
Jazz has band practice every Tuesday evening. So last night, Kevin and I got into the car to run up to the school and pick him up.
We drive up and park in our usual spot. It’s a spot away from the main stream of traffic because we can get out of the parking lot a lot faster. We’ve been parking there to pick Jazz up from practice since school began.
This is nothing new.
But somehow, Jazz missed seeing us drive up and though we could clearly see him, he didn’t notice us.
So, I called him on his cell phone …
Four times before he finally realized his phone was going off and he picked up.
(I could have gotten out and just walked over to get him but 1. that would have embarrassed Jazz and 2. I would have been walking in front of several cars with their headlights shining and OH LOOK AT ME! I’m on stage, I hate that).
Why did he not notice his phone was ringing (or vibrating, as the case may be)? Because he was busy being chased around the yard by another kid.
They were just goofing around, it was no biggie. Jazz stopped long enough to answer my call, realize that we were waiting for him and started to our car.
Only the kid that had been goofing around with him, came with him. And tackled him. The boys were so busy laughing and acting like idiots that they didn’t look before they crossed the parking lot AND THEN thought another car was ours and went so far as to open the back door of this strange car.
The kid hanging on to Jazz opened the car door – I guess he was going to shove him in. But Jazz pulled away and they closed the door. Only not entirely and the poor owner of the car had to get out and shut it all the way when they laughingly stumbled off.
The boys reach our car and the kid takes off laughing and waves goodbye.
I didn’t really think too much of the incident, it just warmed my heart that he was getting along with his peers, having a good time and I don’t know, acting like a boy.
But Kevin was not amused. At all. He scolded Jazz and told him that he was acting like a middle school kid and not a high schooler and did he look before he crossed that parking lot? And did he apologize to the woman who’s car door they opened?
Jazz’s good mood immediately deflated and I jumped in and said, “It’s no big deal, he was just acting like a kid.”
I knew, as soon as the words left my mouth, that I was in trouble. We made a pact, a long time ago, that we would always stand united in front of the kids. Even though we may disagree with the other’s stance, we would talk about it later when the kids weren’t around.
I was a little annoyed with Kevin. After all, he was acting like a kid having a good time, did he really have to criticize him so much? But life went on and I didn’t think too much more about it ……
…… until this morning when Kevin let me know, in no uncertain terms, that he didn’t appreciate my contradicting him in front of Jazz. It embarrassed him and undermined his authority.
I didn’t answer him and we went our separate ways – he resumed getting his breakfast and I continued drinking my coffee and checking emails.
But I stewed. And I thought about what he said. And I replayed the incident back through my mind and really SAW what happened and you know what?
Kevin was right. He DID act immaturely and he SHOULD HAVE looked before he crossed that parking lot (there were a lot of parents picking up their kids) and he SHOULD HAVE apologized to that woman in the car.
And I should have just kept my big mouth shut.
So, when Jazz finished his breakfast, I walked him into our bedroom and standing before Kevin, I told Jazz that his dad was right in scolding him. That I knew he was just having fun and that he was being propelled by that other kid, but there comes a time when you have to say, “Okay, that’s enough. Cut it out” and take control of the situation. I also told him that that was exactly how he SHOULDN’T act on this upcoming St. Louis trip with his band.
Jazz was taught a lesson, I saved face in front of Kevin and my world was upright once more.
But it was hard. It was really hard to swallow my pride, to look at the situation objectively and to admit that Kevin was indeed right. But that’s what marriage is all about — being willing to admit your mistakes, having the courage to own up to them and apologize. After all, if the situation had been reversed, I would definitely expect Kevin to back me up; I owe the man the same courtesy.
These little life lessons? Are one of the biggest reasons we’re still married today. 🙂