Life Lesson in Humility

Last Sunday, Brent and I attended a child dedication of a little man who is a few months younger than Haley. His mom and I were 10 days apart in our original due date, but when Haley came two months premature, we kind of won that race.

I was having an “off” day. I wasn’t content with anything, I didn’t like doing something outside of my usual Sunday routine, and I just wasn’t “feeling it.” You know the days. We all have them now and again. Instead of laying my inhibitions or anxieties at the foot of the throne, I decided to just be a grumpy butt all morning. (Insert your total shock and surprise that I could be anything other than happy-all-the-time here.)

After the church service, we were invited over to their house for lunch (and cake). By this point I was already what Brent and I have dubbed “angry-hungry.” You know, the kind of hungry where if you don’t get something to eat NOW you’re going to seriously harm someone. Or worse.

On the way to their house, Brent committed the sin of all sins. He crossed a double white line even though there was a clearly marked sign that read, “DO NOT CROSS DOUBLE WHITE LINE.” I decided to point out his wrongdoing. Oh yes I did, I totally went there. Out loud.

He argued the sign was there to prevent an accident, and he knew he wasn’t supposed to cross the line, but since there were no other cars around, he knew he was safe to make that move. I told him he was not allowed to teach Haley how to drive. He explained the “intent” of the law. I argued the sign was in black and white. You don’t pick and choose what to obey or when to obey it. He again pointed out there were no other vehicles. I again pointed out black and white is LAW and he just broke the LAW. He said I was overreacting. I looked away because I almost started crying.

What you may be missing from that paragraph is this: Brent was calmly and coolly pleading his case. I was freaking ballistic. He was shocked (and probably a little afraid) at my reaction. I was ready to roundhouse kick him in the teeth. Twice.

We pulled up to the house and we were the first ones there. Even before the homeowners. They lived next door to a gas station and I told Brent I was going to go buy a snack. He replied, “I think you can wait.” Through my laser-beam-of-death-glare, I explained to him that we would have to wait for them to show up, wait for them to get lunch ready, wait for them to finish visiting, and by that time I would be dead from starvation and I was not going to wait for that. “Val. You can wait.” “BRENT! You are PISSING ME OFF.” I lovingly slammed the car door before stomping over to the gas station and buying myself a small bag of Chex Mix.

By the way, that Chex Mix saved a lot of lives that day.

Upon my walk back to the car, I realized that my responses over the last 20 minutes were a bit….uncouth. Sure I can be dramatic now and again, but this was severe behavior. I knew it, and I knew I had to apologize.

I got back in to the car, as no one else had arrived yet. I turned to Brent after shoving a handful of Chex Mix into my mouth. “I’ve done the math…….and I’m pretty sure I’m PMSing.”

Brent laughed. Heartily.

Later I told him I appreciated his reaction. What I was anticipating, and what would have made things worse, was him responding along the lines of “YA THINK?!” or “Uh-Duh!” He didn’t respond that way, though. Instead, he laughed. And I appreciated it. He said, “Well, the humility of your comment really struck me.” And it was apology accepted.

I learned a very valuable lesson that day: a lesson in humility. When you start to realize you just might be having an off day, or moment, or whatever – and you notice the reaction of others is completely contrary to your own…..check yourself. “Before you wreck yourself.” Thinking before speaking goes a long way. And so does a little admission of having some PMS issues.

Later Brent commented, “I wonder how many other of our disagreements have had to do with your PMS.”
“I did the math,” I replied, “and that’s the first time it’s ever been an issue.”
He laughed again.

He still is not allowed to teach Haley how to drive. God bless him.

3 Replies to “Life Lesson in Humility”

  1. thanks for the post… i have those mornings a lot and could just about ripe heads off or other parts if you get what i mean and yes, if i just examined myself first… my day would be a whole lot better.
    And i would of totally stomped over to the gas station too since it would of taken all to long to get the food rolling. Way to be up front and decisive. 🙂

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