Speechless

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We spent the weekend in (gorgeous) Interlochen, Michigan for my dearest friend’s (gorgeous) wedding. Almost all was gorgeous, but an incident that took place at the B&B we stayed in still has me a bit stunned.

When I arrived with Gideon on Thursday night, I got a feeling of unease from the host gentleman. He was friendly and yet certain externals put me off. There were a lot of flags flying round the place, including what I am pretty sure was a Confederate flag. When I asked for a 7:30 breakfast, he said that was too early and asked me to make it 8. OK, whatever. Odd duck, I figured. Trying to make the best of it. I didn’t feel fear, but I did feel a certain discord, perhaps a bit passive-aggressive inhospitality.

The next morning, though, at the 8 a.m. breakfast, we managed to find some common conversational ground, and I thought all was well. Bill and Akiva arrived that afternoon, which also helped. The host woman, whom I finally met on Friday evening, was unreservedly lovely.

Then something yucky happened on Saturday. Akiva had gotten a mosquito bite — his first ever. The mosquitoes in northern lower Michigan are big as hummingbirds, and their bites are serious. At least, they are if you are four years old and slightly sleep-deprived and overstimulated. As we sat in the breakfast room, Akiva was making big drama about the mosquito bite, bigger drama than strictly speaking necessary, and while I wasn’t thrilled with his carrying on, I figured the best course was simply to murmur, “Yes dear,” and wait it out. However, when Bert (the host man) came in and asked what was wrong, I told him that Akiva had just had his first mosquito bite.

And this is what he said:

Hey buddy, I think you’re making too big of a deal out of it. Sometimes you just have to suck it up. Life is no place for being a sissy.

I am still trying to parse just what kind of sad, sick man calls a four-year-old child a sissy.

P.S. Of course, I was a sissy and didn’t say anything because I could think of nothing even remotely reasonable to say in that moment. I hope my son forgives me. I kinda think he does.

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