In a moment of sheer emotion for me, last night I unleashed a rant about how hard life can be to our children. I told them about all the times I had been hurt, lied to and abused. I teared up a little (maybe), my wife cried, they cried, and the 1 year-old laughed. Sometimes he seems a little clueless.
I just walked off after my monologue, not sure how it would be taken. But the craziest thing happened – for the first time in the evening, there was peace in the house. No more fighting. No more bickering. The kinds of things that had been happening all night.
My wife, the future psychologist, had already gotten to the root of the most of the issues. But they weren’t resolved yet. It was like the one episode of “How I Met Your Mother” where they all realize the annoying things the others do. It was like now they knew what was frustrating them, and that only made it more frustrating.
My little rant had a point: at the end of the day, we just had each other. But that wouldn’t have mattered without the authenticity. Our kids can see one of my “teachable moments” coming a mile away, and they know when it’s insincere. It just doesn’t work.
Being real is scary. It makes me vulnerable. People realize I’m not perfect and I don’t have it all together. But it works.