I once had a stepdad that was kind of mean at times. Or, I should say, in my little kid mind, I thought he was, but now, looking back, I have reached a new understanding. One night I was called to set the table. I entered the kitchen singing - loudly and badly. He asked me to stop. I then proceeded to try to whistle (something I still can't do). He asked me to stop. By now we were seated at the table and he and my mother were talking. I then began humming - loudly and badly - the same song that he had already asked me to stop singing. He told me to stop. I decided what he really meant was, Angie, please be a little quieter. So I began humming softer and more to myself. At this point he told me to leave the table and sent me to my room.
I remember feeling that he was the meanest man in the world. I huffed and puffed, throwing my napkin into my plate, putting the plate on the counter and stomping to my room. I threw myself onto my bed and lamented over my lost dinner. I thought of myself as a victim. I was being unjustly punished and the whole world was unfair.
Now when I watch my children singing while setting the table, humming through mine and Chris's conversation, tapping out crazy drumbeats during dessert...I get it. He wasn't mean. He had had a long day. He was tired. He just wanted some peace and quiet. He wanted to have a smidge of a grown up conversation with his wife. I had been asked nicely, I had been asked again, and I had been told to stop twice. I had run out of chances.
So, this is my formal apology to this man. I am sorry that I didn't get it then. But I do now and if I had a second chance, I would indeed do it differently.