I made a scene today at the pool.
There was a party. About twenty kids, half a dozen parents watching over, myself included. Everything was reasonably fine up until the near the end.
My son got hurt. I went over to see why he was crying. The kids were playing this stupid thing where kids on the edge were trying to pull kids out of the pull, and those in the pool were trying to pull the others in.
The edge of the pool is “cool deck”. It’s a rough, concrete-like surface. My son had scrapes on his feet and his back.
Could have been any one of them that got hurt. Just happened to be him
He didn’t have all the words to tell me what happened, but it was obvious. I didn’t know who had pulled him, who had caused his scrapes.
So I just let loose on all of them.
I grew up with asthma as a kid. For some reason, it has left me with kind of a barrel chest. A large lung capacity. A strong diaphragm. And I know how to project my voice.
In other words, I can be loud as all hellfuck.
So I laid it out: “STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING. This is a dangerous and stupid game. Any one of you could get hurt. It happened to be my son. And I’m not going to say anything else, because it’ll just get me in trouble.”
I have never seen 20 kids stop what they are doing faster. And a half a dozen parents on the other side of the pool. All eyes on me.
Then it was over.
Now, of course, social self-doubt has kicked in. But I know, just as I have laid it out for you here, that I was justified in the name of safety.
The funny thing is, I used to be so uncomfortable expressing any kind of dissent to anyone. And kind of upset. Or need, for that matter. I wasn’t exactly what you’d call “assertive”.
Hair-trigger rage isn’t intrinsically a virtue. But in defense of the health and well-being of someone I love, I will not apologize.
I used to fear anger. Because I was afraid it would begin, and I wouldn’t be able to shake it. And honestly, that used to be the way it was. I don’t know why I’m different now. Maybe because my anger serves a purpose, and once that purpose is served, there is no need for it any more.
Or maybe it’s because I don’t hold back trying to get everyone to like me. I don’t worry about most people liking me. Because I know there are people here, in this virtual place, that make me feel like like I have a place where I belong. They like me for who I am and what I have to offer. Even if I am too loud, or too impatient, or too short-tempered.
Make I just could ever let go before, because I never felt like I had a home.