You ever start to say something and realize it is a total mistake just as the words finish rolling out?
On a very recent family visit to a chocolate emporium at Universal Studios, I challenged my son to finish a mondo brownie shake in exchange for one cool dollar.
Well, to my surprise, he took that challenge seriously, gorging himself into an extreme stomach pain. I laughed it off at first, then took a little well-deserved heat from the Mrs.
And here come the damaging words that I redirected at my son, "I thought you were smarter than that."
Just as I said them, I knew I'd injured some tender feelings.
When we got outside, I asked how he was doing. He said his stomach hurt. I asked if that was all and he said, "My feelings."
Then came the best part.
I nodded, put my arm around him as we walked,, and said, "I'm sorry son, what I meant to say was that taking the challenge to the point of hurting yourself was foolish."
"You see, you can be very smart, which you are, and still make foolish choices. Smart grown-ups do it all the time."
"You know who else was foolish? Me, for taunting you. And I regret that choice."
But the foolish choices need not define us. It is the wisdom we acquire along the way and use to demonstrate our growth that makes all the difference."
"So. How about an ice cream cone? Give you a dollar. Hahaha!"