Quick note about the term: I’ve asked around as to the right term for when a car takes off so fast that it spits out dirt behind it. And I’ve been told by younger people that they don’t know a word for this. So maybe it’s an outdated term, but that’s what I mean by “Peeling out”.

A story: Back in the days when I was younger and single I used to help out with a Boy Scout troop and one of the other leaders had a bit of a temper. One afternoon up at camp, after getting upset with the boys for one reason or another, he hopped into his car and peeled out of the parking lot.

Unfortunately, the parking lot was mainly dirt and mud and he got quite a bit of it on my car as he drove off. Later, when I mentioned this to him, he told me “Well, it sure felt good!”

This was not really a consolation as I spent an hour cleaning the mud off my car.

Now 15 years later, as a father, I’m ashamed to remember that I’ve used the same defense, at least silently, to myself. So after I yelled at my kids for making a mess, or get upset when a child’s accident causes me to redo something, or make a cutting remark to my wife when she’s not doing things my way, I’d think:

– Well, it’s good to get that off my chest.
– I needed to say that.
– If I don’t vent once in awhile, it will be emotionally debilitating.
– My kids don’t want a dad who stuffs everything down.

Obviously, these thoughts can be as foolish and selfish as peeling out of a parking lot.

Dads, how about you? Do you use excuses like this? Yes, maybe these outbursts are, in some small way, cathartic and good for your soul, but are you leaving family members covered in mud?

Next: Headwinds

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