I wasn’t laughing out loud or grinning from ear to ear this morning. Today was different. The show began as usual being insanely funny (I like starting my day with a smile) until TJ, a co-host, began sharing a poignant story about his little boy.
Saturday was “Buddy Day” for TJ and his four-year old son. They had big plans to go to the park, have lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and visit a four-wheeler store. Like every other four-year old, he was overjoyed with the play equipment at the park so TJ sat on a bench nearby and read a book while watching his little boy often. He noticed his son was on the top of the tower, just standing there, while the other children rushed by him for their turn on the sliding board. TJ thought this was odd and walked over to him, looked up to the tower and questioned,
“Why aren’t you playing?”
His son replied softly, “Oh, I’m just tired, Daddy.”
TJ didn’t understand and coaxed his son, “Oh, come on! Have fun while we’re here!”
His little son replied, “Ok, Daddy.”
Minutes later, his son hadn’t moved from his secure spot on the tower and TJ noticed there were two large dogs on lead nearby with their owners. This time, his little boy cried when he saw his Dad approaching,
“I’m afraid of the dogs, Daddy!”
“Those are nice dogs! Why are you crying? Don’t be afraid, son, and come down here!”
TJ carried him to the car, fully understanding his son’s fear of any dog larger than a Yorkie, but he was angry.
As his little boy sat in the back seat of the car, trembling and sobbing, TJ lost it and threw harsh words at him,
“What is wrong with you! Stop crying! The other boys weren’t afraid of the dogs and they weren't crying… You’re afraid of everything. You’re afraid of this, and that, and things that other boys aren’t afraid of…”
His little boy was speechless and still crying until TJ said angrily,
“So, what else are you afraid of!”
The little boy hesitated for a moment, then timidly whispered through his tears,
“You? I’m afraid of you, Daddy.”
Silence on the airwaves.
Seven long seconds of silence…
TJ interrupted the silence, voice quivering and choking back tears, but told the end of the story. He drove into an empty parking lot, stopped the car, and walked to the back seat to hug his little son. They had a good day.
Because of allergies in the family, they never owned a dog but they are going to get a large breed soon. I was tempted to e-mail the station and suggest an allergen-free Boston Terrier. Also, I wanted to personally thank TJ for his sensitivity, for making me search my car for Kleenex, and arriving at work with tear stains on my cheeks! I cry easily in the mornings.
I’m just guessing, but I think even the most loving parents have moments like this with their little children. I’ve lost patience, too, and I remember a time when my daughter, then about seven years old, had a fit about the incorrect way I fixed her ponytail – after the third try, I yelled and whacked her on the head with the hairbrush. She was unharmed because her head was too hard to notice.
I just had to share this little story. I suggest that we all hug our kids today, or if you’re miles apart, send a virtual one.
In case I made you feel a little down, here’s something that might brighten your day,
Beyond the railroad tracks, a February sunrise. It was beautiful to me.
Gotcha! Hard to photograph…The Tufted Titmouse is so quick and On To Me.
What? Don’t holler. We’re innocent!