The Hummingbird and the Yellow Jacket

My 12 yo son and I had a misunderstanding today.

It was a misunderstanding in communication.  A misunderstanding of expectations.  A misunderstanding of motivations.

I did not yell.  My voice was calm and controlled.  But Sidney can read between the lines.  And he can detect tone, even subtle tones and undercurrents.

Thankfully, he is also wise.  Wise enough to show his hurt and frustration.  In a respectful way, of course.  But in a way that made the whole misunderstanding crystal clear.

I apologized.  With excuses, I am sorry to say.  And we worked things out.  On the surface.

The incident weighed on my heart and would not release me.  Fifteen minutes later, I came up behind him and put my arms around him.  “I am sorry that I misunderstood you.  It seems like your personality and mine . . . . . . . . .clash a lot.  I think you are an awesome kid, but I sure don’t do a good job of showing that much.”

Sidney is looking over my shoulder, watching a fragile hummingbird and an angry yellow jacket duel over the nourishment in the feeder.   The yellow jacket circles the feeder on his insect legs, around and around, guarding the gold.  The hummingbird darts here and there, trying to take a sip, but always interrupted by the threatening wasp.

Sidney responds, “Speaking of clashing, I am sitting here watching that hummingbird try to drink from the feeder and that yellow jacket trying to chase him off.”

“I guess I would be the one with the stinger,” I say, trying to redeem myself with humor.

With his trademark dry humor, he says, “And there I am just trying to eat my lunch.”

We laugh and both feel better. 

Now, I just need to work on removing my stinger.

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