The words echoed in my head and a combination of pride and panic filled my insides. In the past, when things had gotten heated with Brian and anyone else (as will happen at some points in life), I had only panicked. I went right to the “don’t cause a scene” mentality. But, on this night, it was warranted.
It was right after bedtime, we thought we were basically done for the night. We were chatting with Kaleb about who something or other. Then the neighbor called. She never calls. My first impulse (always my first impulse) was not to answer. I’m one of those “just text me” people. But, it was weird that she was calling so I knew I couldn’t completely ignore it. Kaleb stepped in and answered. She instantly hung up and called again. Before I could answer, she texted. When, in all honesty, I texted back and told her that I was at 1%, would charge for a few and call her back; she said no, call her now. Now I wasn’t really aware that you could order your neighbors around but I dutifully called.
I have to be vague now because, even though, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog, but you never know. And, I’m not trying to gossip about others, in any way. But, since I was there, I feel it’s my story to tell, too.
Anyway, let’s just say that there had been an incident. She had found her sons in possession of something. It was something on the low end of concern (comparatively) but still not a thrilling discovery. Her sons immediately blamed my sons. Which is pretty typical. They were taken at their words and I’m told that her husband is coming down to find Kaleb, question him and call the police if he didn’t cooperate.
As I’m trying not to freak and asking her what “cooperate” means, I’m learning from Brian that Kaleb had gone out for a walk. Flash forward to me calling Kaleb in a panic and saying “Make it right. Apologize and make it right.” I was less interested in who did what and more interested in keeping the situation under control. Flash forward again to me calling her back and hearing that Kaleb is there and hearing A LOT of yelling.
All I knew was that I had to get my kid out of there. I was imagining worst case scenarios and only cared about keeping him safe. Thankfully, Brian had the same thought and we went down the street to get our kid.
As luck (or not so much) would have it, our kid was not there when we got there and we were invited to come in so we could “talk.”
We didn’t really want to talk. Not when everything was heated and so confusing. But, we went in, anyway. Brian said lots of smart, calming things as I just stood nervously. My eyes darted around the house and I wished that my house would look so put together when people come over unexpectedly. I wished folded laundry on the couch was the only thing that I would have to move. I noticed that she had lost a lot of weight and I resisted the urge to blurt it out. And I wondered where the baby was.
Side note: These are Emily defense mechanisms, through and through.
So, as they were talking, Kaleb came back. I don’t know why but suddenly, he was there, sitting angrily in their kitchen. And he was so angry. Really angry. He was breathing heavy, his body was shaking, his eyes were so bulged that, initially, I thought he had gotten hit. He looked like Bruce Banner before becoming the Hulk.
I rushed over to make sure he was ok as I told him “We are not here to gang up on you. We wanted to make sure you are ok. Are you?”
Not long after, we are all in the kitchen. Kaleb starts yelling, complete with many expletives, that he didn’t do it. (I instantly believed him, by the way. I didn’t believe that he was completely innocent but I believed he was innocent of what he was accused of.) Then the husband starts to yell at him, also with plenty of expletives. I don’t remember what he said but it was loud and it was scary.
And then, Brian stood between them, pointed his finger and said, loudly and resolutely “Don’t yell at my son.”
Time froze. This was the moment when this man could have decided to hit Brian, it could have gotten out of control, weapons could have gotten involved, anything could have happened. And, like I said, as I panicked, I was so proud.
After all the transitions and challenges, we had gotten to a point that he had his son’s back above all others. And that’s how it should be. That doesn’t mean that our kids are free to do whatever, but my husband protected his son and I was so proud.
Anyway, the rest is a little fuzzy. He said that Kaleb shouldn’t yell at his wife (which he technically wasn’t but whatever), Brian repeated himself, their son came out into the living room very loudly and very upset, the husband said we should get out of his house and we said we’d be glad to.
Once outside, I hugged Kaleb a million times, we got some clarification, and we later told our kids not to hang out with them anymore and I’m fairly confident that they told their kids the same thing.
We headed home but not before I said to Brian “I know this is a bad situation but that was so hot!”
He said I was weird but kissed me back, anyway, haha!
As I left, I told her that we would talk tomorrow when things were calmer. But when tomorrow came, we had a life to lead. We were heading to my mom’s and calling to discuss the situation was the farthest thing from my mind. Apparently, from theirs, too. I think we have all decided together without a word that we should parent our own children and move on with our lives.
The moral of this story is not that you should expect kids to mess up and you shouldn’t assume that your kids are telling you the full truth when they do mess up. I know mine don’t. It’s not even that you shouldn’t yell at other people’s children. Those are all true, of course. (But I get that they were reacting and just plain freaking out.)
My take-away is that I love my kids. I know my kids will lie to me and mess up and I love them anyway. And, I love my husband and I know that he will protect his family. (I hope Kaleb took note of that, too.) And it has made me feel even more protective of my family, too.
Every time, I tell this story to my friends, I can’t resist gushing about how hot it was when Brian stood up to him. I’ve heard more than once, that I’m weird. 😉 Weird or not, in my head, I’ve turned this scary, dramatic incident into a relationship builder, not just with my kids but with my husband.
Hey, we’ve been married for 14 years…..whatever it takes, folks, whatever it takes!