My wife is amazing at hiding her true feelings. She could hate you and you’d never know it.
I don’t think she literally hates anybody, but that’s beside the point.
I’m terrible at hiding my feelings. You can read my mood on my face, no doubt.
This being said, I had purchased tickets to a concert for my son, Trey, and I, which was to take place yesterday in a town about 3 ½ hours away. As the day of the show was fast approaching, however, I begin to experience a feeling of dread. I couldn’t explain it, all I could say was that I didn’t have a good feeling about it.
But this show was more for Trey than me—even though I also love the band we were seeing—and I wasn’t going to cancel the trip based on a “feeling.” I knew my thoughts were bleeding through and told him, “I’m really sorry if it doesn’t seem like I’m excited about this trip.”
“Honestly, it seems like you don’t want to go, dad,” he confessed. Man, the truth really hurts sometimes. I was bringing him down and I knew it. I was destroying his excitement.
Once we set out on our journey yesterday afternoon, the feeling temporarily left, and we were laughing and joking around, as always. I had even burned a CD of the band, with songs from their set list, based on previous concerts listed online. We were jamming and having a blast.
Then it started raining.
I know, “big deal,” right? But in my area of the country, it’s been cold lately, and the rain was freezing over on the car. I knew we wouldn’t be home for at least another six hours, and all the rain on the highway would probably be frozen over.
Then that feeling of dread started creeping back in.
We passed over a bridge, and Trey said, “Wonder how cold that water is.”
I didn’t know until later, but he asked me this because he had just experienced a “flashing thought” of us losing control on our way home, crashing through the guardrail and plummeting into the bitterly cold water.
We stopped about two hours down the road, just to talk about whether we should continue. We talked and prayed and talked some more, then I called my wife and asked her what she thought. We looked at the weather reports (which all said “clear skies,” even though there was sleet and freezing rain coming down). I hung up with her saying, “I don’t know what to tell you. I know Trey’s been looking forward to this for a long time. These tickets were one of his Christmas presents!”
Our minds raced…keep going….turn back? Trey said, “Dad, let’s just turn back. I won’t even enjoy the show because I’ll be too worried about our safety.”
“Ok, that’s it,” I thought. “I blew it. My ‘dad worries’ have spoiled his amazing evening.” I felt terrible.
“I can’t do this,” I told him. “I’m going to keep going. I can’t let my worries be YOUR worries.”
“No, dad, that’s not it,” Trey said, and went on to tell me about the image he had of us sliding off into the water.
I made the hard decision and turned around.
Trey called my wife, who was visiting with my daughter and her family a few hours while we were out of town.
“Dad said this was my call,” he told her. ”The weather is NOT good, mom, and I don’t think we should keep going.” I could hear the relief both in her voice, and that of my daughter, when she passed on the news.
I tried not to sound like a cliché or an overly simplistic movie character when I said to him, “Being a man doesn’t mean you make the EASY decisions; it means you make the RIGHT ones. You did that today, buddy. I’m proud of you.”
We were close to one of our favorite pizza places, where we always stop on our way to concerts in Kansas City, so I treated him to some amazing Italian pie and (not quite sour enough) lemonade. He should’ve been disappointed, but I could see his whole countenance change. What I thought was anger about missing the show turned out to be worry, and while he should’ve been incensed, he seemed relieved.
“Let’s go home,” I said once the pizza had all been devoured. “If we hurry we should have time to make a 7:30 movie.”
“Sounds good, Pop,” Trey smiled, using his beloved nickname for me.
Just a reminder—to me especially—to make the right choice for you and those whom you are responsible, not the easy one. There may be disappointment and even anger by some, but in the long run, you’ll be glad you did.
I heard a Police Officer once say, “I don’t know if I believe in the whole ‘sixth sense’ thing, but I can tell you, I believe the Lord speaks to us in subtle ways. If you feel weird or funny about doing something, I’d like to give you some simple advice: Don’t do it.”