I was 16 years old and I’d had a hard day at school. My family was having dinner, and my mom was grilling me about something that had happened, adding to my level of frustration. I snapped and told her, “Will you just shut up!” It was surreal. I knew better and it was like I was watching the words come out of my mouth in slow motion…and I couldn’t stop them.
The room went completely silent, and before my fork could hit the plate, my dad made it around the table, grabbed me by the shirt, shoved me across the room, and had me pressed against the wall with my shirt balled up in his fist underneath my chin so tight I couldn’t lower my jaw and could only look him in the eye. He stared at me for what seemed like a lifetime and in a very slow and stern voice, he said, “Let me make this perfectly clear. I LOVED HER FIRST. Are we clear?” I gave the only acceptable and safe answer I could: “Yes, sir!”
I learned two things that day: the amount of love a man owes his wife, even if it means defending his wife’s honor to his own son, and any thought I may have ever had that I could “take on my old man” was ludicrous.
I thank my dad for giving me the building blocks to become a good man, my wife for providing the mortar to bind those blocks, and you, Dr. Laura for providing the instruction book on how to put it all together.
I Told My Mother to Shut Up
The Dr. Laura Call of the Day Podcast