Recently I had an "aha!" moment. My youngest brother (he's 15, almost 16) is a bag of hormones. He can get angry and defensive very easily. Now I get why some parents are tempted by boarding school when their kids are teenagers. I get it. Anyways, in the beginning of the summer I tried SUPER hard to be nice, patient, and calm with my brother. That ended abruptly after about a month when I got very irritated and tired of his teenage antics and just started arguing back. I know, very mature of me. Apparently I still have a lot to learn. Anyways, he called me Thursday evening late when I was about to go to bed saying his ride home from a party had bailed and he needed a ride home. Our mom was sleeping already so that left me. I was infuriated. Why didn't he think ahead? Why didn't he make sure ahead of time that this wouldn't happen? Why didn't he have a back-up plan? WHY!?!? I was highly irritated because I was sleep deprived and now would continue to go further into sleep debt. Well, fuming I tried to figure out where this person lived, spent 20 minutes on the wrong road, got on the right road and spent another 10 minutes trying to find the correct road with some moron tailing me. Me=NOT HAPPY. Found the road, found the house. Dane got into the car and I was silently fuming. You could say there was some intense tension in the car, the kind that you could slice. Anyways, I didn't say one word because I knew if I did Dane would start yelling at me and I was in no mood to argue. So, I continued in my silence. Dane whispered "sorry..." and we sat in silence. I parked the car, booked it into my room, got up to get something where I passed Dane in the hall where he again whispered, "I'm really sorry." The next day, I apologized too for being so angry.
The moral of this tale? Contempt breeds contempt. Instead of blasting the poor kid to pieces, I bit my tongue (literally) and...he apologized! (which is usually all I want to hear anyways). Also this gave me time to think---at least he called me. At least he came home. At least he didn't lie. At least he was honest. At least I knew he was safe. And hopefully, next time he'll plan better. One can hope.