Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Just another day... my life.

This morning Hetee and I were at home, minding our business when we got a frantic phone call from a lady from church. She was begging us to come and settle a violent dispute between herself and her 22-year-old daughter. There was screaming in the background.

We got dressed and made our way over there as fast as we could, not knowing exactly what to expect. We had heard a lot about the daughter and her legendary ourbursts of anger. She threw tantrums much like the ones Nate recently outgrew. She even used her mother and 2-year-old son as punching bags, too, I heard.

We arrived at the apartment and the daughter let us in. Both women were on opposite sides of the room, crying. The little boy was sitting timidly on the corner of the bed. I felt my heart break as I noticed a bruise by his left eye. I surveyed the room for knives or other sharp objects I might want to avoid if things got out of hand. There were broken dishes on the floor.

Hetee and I sat down and Hetee asked them to explain what happened. They both just sat there crying silently. Then, all of a sudden they started talking at the same time. It got louder and louder as they called each other names and began to fight again.

As I was sitting there, spitting distance away (don't ask me how I know that), chewing on my thumb nail and wishing the floor would open and swallow me up while at the same time pondering the pros and cons of banging their heads together to make the noise stop, I noticed that Hetee was just sitting there, cool as a cucumber, listening. Why is he letting them go on like that? Why doesn't he make them stop? It's obvious this isn't getting us anywhere!

After what seemed like an hour of yelling- it was actually about 15 minutes, Hetee held up his hands and surprisingly both women immediately fell silent. It was a neat trick! Then he took a deep breath and calmly, magically, supernaturally began counseling them. I sat there, watching in awe as piece by piece he began to tear down the wall these women had built over the past days leading up to the big bang. Never before had I been so grateful for my husband's ability to "fix the problem" as men are typically known to do. He went in like a surgeon and skillfully articulated the problem, made it known to the women and told them how to fix it, according to the Bible.

I wish I could remember what he said that made everything all better. But the truth is I was too wrapped up in the feeling of comfort I had, knowing that I was married to such a smart guy, to pay attention to the details after that. And my tummy was rumbling and making me wonder why on earth I had had only a half cup of coffee and a slice of bread with butter for breakfast. Note to self: if you're going to settle a domestic dispute, pack a lunch.

By the time we had coffee and sweetbreads, everyone was calm and smiling, including the little boy. I offered to take him for a couple days to give the his mom a chance to work things out with her new husband with whom she is also having conflicts, but she declined. I sure hope she can keep her hands to herself.

Well, it's late and I have to turn in. Next time Hetee tries to "fix" my problem instead of just listening, I think I'll be more understanding.

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