Houston, we have a problem! Almost everyone remembers that phrase which originated from the crew of the US’s Apollo l3 moon flight. It was used by an astronaut to report a major technical problem back to their Houston base. Now it’s used to report any kind of problem!
I’m using it today to tell you about a recent problem I experienced which doesn’t include a rocket, but involves my daughters, my ego and my drive for perfection.
As if I needed another hobby, my neighbor Kale, got me in to flying remote control planes. In between crashes, I have been having an absolute blast! Kale has been flying planes since high school and is gifted, whereas I’m still a rookie – green to the core. I’ve yet to learn all the tricks of the trade, like keeping your eye on the plane at all times.
I had just taken my plane out and was having a little fun in the front yard when some friends pulled into the driveway. I called to my girls to come out of the house and say hi. When they didn’t appear, I called them again. That caused me to take my eyes off the plane for just a brief moment and it was then I proceeded to crash the plane about as square and solid as I could into Kale’s house.
No serious damage was done...to the house. In my frustration I said to myself out loud, “Where are those girls?” I thought if they had been outside, taking care of the things that needed to be taken care of with these people in our driveway, then the crash would have never occurred. With this in mind, I walked into the house and immediately chastised the girls by saying, “Girls, where are you? I crashed my plane because of you.”
Now obviously, in hindsight, I can even see that I made a stupid statement. My girls both looked at me wide eyed and said, “Dad, what are you talking about? We had nothing to do with your plane!”
What I did is called blame by association. Passing the buck. Not owning it. On all three accounts, I’m guilty as charged.
Do you ever do this in your own home? If things don’t work out your way, do you look for a scapegoat to carry the blame? It didn’t take long for me to recognize that how I reacted was foolish. It’s wasn’t long before I approached the girls with my head hanging down and apologized to them for my unjust behavior. I wasn’t really angry at them. I was annoyed at myself because I was having trouble flying a remote control airplane. Life then went on.
If you are guilty, like me, of wanting to blame others besides yourself, then it is time to stop. Nobody likes to make mistakes but it’s an inevitable part of life. Be willing to accept responsibility when you are wrong especially in family and marriage relationships.
It is with the people we love the most that we tend to vent our anger more easily. It is because we know they love us unconditionally but we shouldn’t take advantage of that privilege. We need to cherish our relationships with our children and admit when we’ve made a mistake so they can model this behavior when they are adults.
Oh yeah, duct tape might not fix a relationship but it works great on shattered airplanes.
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