You used to think you had it so together. And maybe you still do. At work, you’re important and together. In relationships, you’re measured and firm. You’re an adult. You’re in charge right?
Nah. They are in charge.
The ever-serious Chesty Puller—the most decorated Marine in US history—was as tough as they get. He was also, when it came to his kids, a complete softy. Taking his daughter in for minor surgery, he once told his wife, was worse than Peleliu—an island in the Pacific that he and the US Marines took from the Japanese in one of the bitterest battles of WWII.
“Nobody could make me laugh if I didn’t want to,” he once said with certainty at a family dinner. His daughter promptly got him to laugh with a silly face.
These kids—they’ve got our number. They have us wrapped around their fingers, don’t they? They do.
It’s not so bad, though. In fact, it’s wonderful. Because it’s not malicious or manipulative. It’s just what happens when filial love meets unconditional parental love. Think of it like this: We can be put together, buttoned down and serious everywhere else.
At home? We can be on their level. We can let them call the shots. If you’re anything like Chesty Puller, they’re going to be the softest shots you’re ever going to get coming your way.