When men get angry, they all react differently. But there is one moment all we guys have in common, that one moment when, in our minds, we go back to our caveman roots. We want to smash what makes us angry, make it go away.
Evolution has taught us that those ways aren't the best. And usually we get past those Neanderthal moments pretty quickly and deal with the problem at hand in the most rational way we can.
For me, part of that process, getting past the pre-historic, is having my friends involved. They talk sense to me, and make me see that I have to act responsibly. It's good for me to always have at least one good friend to talk to, because I know they'll always act in my best interests, and get me behaving in a way that has the best interests of those around me at heart.
Tonight I had a Neanderthal moment. My oldest girl had her heart crushed by a boy. It isn't the first time, and I know it won't be the last. Only this boy is a bad guy, and it isn't the first time he's done this. There have been other boys, and other heartbreaks, but this boy does it because he is a control freak, and I couldn't sit silently and just "offer support". I was angry, very angry, because he keeps coming back, solely for the purpose of making her cry. He tries to keep others from her as well, and he tries to control her life.
I know what has to be done. I know how these boys think. I know because there was a time when I behaved that way, albeit a short time, thankfully. But I know what's in his mind. He wants to do whatever he wants, but he wants to make sure that she is always there, ready for him to come back when playtime is over.
I can't have that. But I also know that simply forbidding contact with him will work against me. She has to come to realize that he is a bad guy all on her own, but there is nothing wrong with helping her to clear her vision.
In the meantime, though, I had that moment that I wanted to make this boy go away, my way. And while my daughter was talking to her Mom, I used that time to get hold of my rational self. I did have my Caveman moment, with visions of clubs over the head, etc. And I had a good friend to talk to. She let me rant and rave, and then delivered a solid dose of good common sense to bring me around to reality.
I smile when I think of that conversation now, because I don't think she's seen that side of me. I rarely get that way, but someone hurting my kid tends to bring that out in me. But she stuck to her gameplan, and got me thinking rationally again.
I do tend to be long-winded, it's just the way I am. But my girl and me sat for better than an hour once I wasn't a Neanderthal anymore. And she went to bed feeling a lot better. I told her that we can do a lot of things, get her around the other people in her life. I reminded her that the world is a big place, to take chances, to meet other people to just have fun with. I think it worked.
I needed a friend, and she was around tonight, and that's a good thing. Good sense is always better than nonsense. I'm blessed in that regard, because I have plenty of good friends who are ready to penetrate my thick skull. I'm lucky because there always seems to be a never-ending supply of their love to keep me going in the right direction.
It was a long night, for sure. But it ended a lot better than it began, and I think that's a good thing. A father's love for his children is an unstoppable force, but that doesn't mean it can't be channeled in a positive direction. I love all my friends, because they always seem to know what's right for me.
I think my daughter would love them all too.