The other day I overheard my 12-year-old son say something I never thought I’d ever hear come out of his mouth.
No, he didn’t say a bad word, although I’m pretty sure that by now he’s heard most of them. It wasn’t anything like that.
Far from it.
So what was it?
It was an apology.
Okay, I know this is a “so what” kind of thing. Most of us are trained from the get-go to apologize when we are in the wrong.
Take me, for instance. Now that I’m grown-up and married, I end up apologizing more than I ever thought I would. Here are some recent examples:
- “Sorry, honey. I know I forgot to load the dishwasher even though dirty dishes have been piled in the sink since last night and I’ve been home all day lounging in front of the TV. I promise. It will never happen, again.”
- “Sorry, honey. I totally forgot to put the wet laundry in the dryer, too. The clothes don’t smell that mildewy, though, do they?”
- “Sorry, honey. I know you told me to put toilet paper in the guest bathroom before your parents got here but I got distracted. Do they really need a fresh roll right now?”
I could go on and on, but these apologies are run of the mill and hardly worth mentioning in a public forum.
However, the one my son uttered within earshot of me is. That’s because he directed it at his nemesis, the little girl who annoys him more than anyone else.
Yes, he apologized to his 9-year-old sister.
I know! Crazy, right?. He actually apologized to her. I clearly overheard him say, “I’m sorry.” I nearly fell out of my chair when he did it. He even sounded like he meant it!
While I was picking my jaw up off the floor, I decided to mention this possible thaw in sibling relations to my Facebook friends. One commented that my son must be practicing (presumably for when he’s married). Others suggested he has a plan, a sinister motive for his apology. My first thought was that he merely had a moment of weakness, but now I’m not so sure. There have been strange and unusual things going on everywhere.
Here are just a few examples:
- Birds have dropped from the sky in Arkansas and Italy.
- People in Australia, Brazil and Sri Lanka are dealing with devastating, widespread and deadly floods.
- And, of course, my son has apologized to his sister.
Maybe the purveyors of biblical doom are on to something. They crop up from time to time to warn us all that the rapture is near. The latest Judgement Day prediction is from evangelist Harold Camping, the 89-year-old leader of the controversial independent Christian ministry Family Radio Worldwide. He’s no stranger to making such predictions. He expected the end of the world back in 19-94. It didn’t pan out so he went back to the Bible, made some new calculations and now he says Judgement Day is coming this spring, on May 21st to be exact.
Could it be that my son’s apology is a sign that Camping’s prediction is ….
Oh, wait a minute.
I just remembered that about an hour before my son apologized, I took away his access to anything having to do with video games and the internet. He was being forced to do without because, yea, he picked a fight with his sister.
Now that I think of it, he probably meant for me to hear his apology. I’m chalking it up to a long shot attempt at leniency.