As I’ve said before, Sunday mornings are the busiest day of my week. Yesterday morning was busiest times three, because not only was I responsible for all the usual Sunday morning stuff as Director of Children’s Ministry of a large church, it was my week to lead our 5th and 6th grade class AND a parents’ group. Everything was going great, but I was pretty swamped.
So in the 15 minutes I had to switch gears from 5th and 6th graders to parents, I was approached by a very angry mom. I’ll spare you the details, but what she was angry about was 1) out of the blue, and 2) had no basis in reality. I really didn’t know the story, but I apologized for what I thought she was upset about. My apology had no effect. She threatened to find another church, continued ranting, and finally walked away. Later in the morning I found out through a co-worker that this woman has some serious problems going on in her home life. What a surprise. She chose to deal with her problems by creating something out of nothing and taking that out on me.
Having worked with families my entire adult life, this was certainly not the first time I’d been attacked by an unreasonable parent.
But I realized later in the day that there was a time when that encounter would have left me literally shaking and unable to think of anything else for the rest of the day. It would have kept me up all night, too.
Not any more. I pretty much forgot about the incident until later in the day. And then I shrugged it off. I’ll have to do some follow-up because obviously this woman’s a mess and needs a little compassion.
Perhaps in some way the fact that I’ve been on the receiving end of much uglier attacks by a family member recently gave me some additional perspective. Whatever it was, I liked how I reacted (or, really, didn’t react).
Turns out nothing says “Hmmm…I’ve finally grown up!” like not giving a rat’s ass.