“Son, shut up!”
The words flew like a knife out of my mouth, cutting my 14 year old son before I could sheath them. He had pushed the issue one too many times. I had firmly told him he couldn’t do something, but rather than accept my answer he chose to be creative in his approach and ask from a different angle, hoping I wouldn’t notice. Hoping I’d change my mind.
But I caught on. I said no again and warned him to stop pushing and accept my answer. Obviously he wasn’t finished because a few minutes later, he asked me one more time. And I lost it.
I’d never told him to shut up before. He stood, stunned at my words, then tucked his tail like a whipped puppy and left the room.
I could tell my words stung as they cut. He looked wounded. He’d never seen me come at him like that before. It wasn’t just the words, but the fire behind them as well.