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Do Not Try to Change the Subject

by Peter Stone  
8/16/2007 / Relationships

I could contain myself no longer. "You make me.."

"Yes, dear?"

"So, so, angry!"

My husband sighed. "Whatever I've done, I'm sorry, OK?"

I pulled our little one's hand, "Don't dally James!" And to my husband, "I told you I wanted to get here by ten. You took so long getting ready it's almost eleven thirty!"

"Sorry, I kind of got distracted."

"Always some lame reason. When are you going to change!" I spat.

"Mommy, please don't fight with Daddy," implored our four year old.

My husband answered gently, "Carol, I have always been like this. Why do you make such a big issue of it these days?"

I swerved to avoid another tourist. "Dear, you've got a problem with meeting a deadline. You know you've got this problem. And I asked you to make a special effort."

George held up helpless hands, "I am trying dear. But as we are here now, let's drop this and enjoy ourselves."

"Enjoy ourselves!" I protested, "we've come all the way here to another state, primarily to spend the whole day exploring this vintage heritage settlement. And now we are going to miss a whole hour and a half!"

My husband bent down to touch James's arm. He pointed at the building we were heading for, "See that, son? Used to be a flour mill until they turned it into a prison."

"There's lots of water around it, Daddy."

"You're right, little fella - water full of sharks. No prisoners could ever swim across the lake to escape."

"Don't try to change the subject, George," I threatened.

George breathed out slowly, "I'm not, honey, I'm trying to enjoy our time here. Why don't we talk about this tonight? Now that we're here, let's explore this colonial convict settlement to our hearts' content."

I was a runaway train hurtling downhill. "Uh uh, not good enough. I'm still angry with you for making us two hours late to the gold mining town last February."

"Darling, that was five months ago! I already said I was sorry."

"Well, your apology obviously meant nothing or you would have made a bigger effort today. Not to mention making us late for James' pre-school interview, my mother's on Christmas day again and all because you can't get your act together!"
George would not rise to my barbs, "Carol, I told you on our first date that I suffer from a mild form of attention deficit syndrome. I really am doing my best."

We were passing through the tourist attraction's unique radial exercise yards and were approaching the cross-shaped prison itself. I barely noticed.

"I think you're doing it on purpose, George, just to get at me."

"Now you know that's not true."

I rose my eyes. "Why don't you put some passion in your voice, George, you know how much it irritates me when you talk like a lamb!"

"Mommy, please be nice to Daddy," said James, trying again to calm me down.

"You stay out of this, James! This is between your father and me!"

"The little one has a point," said a kindly male voice from behind us.

I span around angrily at this unwelcome intrusion, "Excuse me, but this is absolutely none of your" The words stuck in my throat and my face turned red with embarrassment. The elderly man walking behind us with his aged wife was wearing a dog collar.

The minister smiled at me and said softly, "Love is patient, love is kind. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love never fails."

I stood there with my face burning while the minister turned and walked slowly away from us.

I glanced back at my husband expecting to see a look of triumph on his face but saw only concern.

My shoulders slumped and I let the anger melt out of me. "Sorry George, you were right. Let's put this behind us and just enjoy ourselves today."

My husband put our son on his right hip and offered me his left arm. "Shall we?"

I rewarded him with my best smile and took his arm.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

All verses from NIV.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

1 Corinthians 13 4 - 8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Peter Stone, a Bible College Graduate, has an international marriage and two children. Suffers from epilepsy and otosclerosis. He teaches Sunday school and plays the piano in church.

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