Thursday, April 04, 2024

A Sad Moment

My neighbors who live in the Wizard's Tower next door had a guest on Easter. 

It was a family about their age, with a boy in the 3-4 range. I was coming in from the car and heard a loud voice coming from their driveway. I looked over and saw the visiting guy yelling at his child in the car. Angry, ugly yelling. I don't know what the boy had done. I'm not sure it really mattered. 

It was such a sad moment. The Dad was a hyper-aggressive prick (boy, do we have enough of those already or what?), and I doubt the boy understand anything beyond that his Dad was humiliating him. 

The father was in his early 30s, and I wanted to say something, but I didn't. I wanted to tell him that children are mirrors, and they reflect back what they see around them. And that humiliation doesn't make them listen, it just makes them want to humiliate someone else. 

I saw a situation like that when we were in Austin. One of Eli 22.8s friends had a Dad who was ultra. He was on him in the sharpest, most cutting way. He wanted to make his son tough. It didn't make him tough, though. It just made him an angry kid. It broadened his anger so that it was his first response to everything. That almost never ends well.

Eli's the hardest kid I've ever known, and I never yelled at him. Not once. He's gentle and loving, and he's tough when it matters. He also understands, though, that it doesn't always matter.

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