The Day I Officially Became “Stupidest Dad On Earth (And Possibly The Universe)”

December 8, 2008

texting1It happened all at once.  Up until that horrible moment, I thought I was  doing ok as a dad  – fun enough, disciplinarian enough, occasional flashes of parenting brilliance (like taking Ari and his friends for a paintball birthday party), cool enough to talk to about where babies come from – in short, not someone 11 year old Ari would feel the need to call Social Services about.  Then it all came crashing down.  In one conversation.  And I walked right into it.

There had been a big confrontation brewing over Ari’s not having a cell phone of his own.  He was 11, and Karen and I decided he was too young and didn’t need one yet.  For the most part, he accepted this indignity with more or less (mostly less) equanimity, and while there had been many “discussions”, there had been no major explosion.

Then one night, the argument began again, only this time something was different.  He was agitated, angry, and clearly ready for a brawl.   I took a deep breath and waded in.  For the better part of the next 20 minutes, I held my own.  And then …

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