I was surprisingly calm when the confrontation occurred. I sat down and spoke in a measured tone, from the heart, trying desperately to not show anger or how terribly overwhelmed and confused I was feeling. Had I done something wrong to cause this? Was this a case of passive-aggressive behavior aimed at me? Was I expecting too much by setting the bar so high? Who knows, but here is what I said:
“I am truly at a loss right now. I cannot overlook what is going on any longer. I’m not sure if it is because you can’t or you just won’t, but something has to change. I’ve given you all of the tools needed for success, so mediocre, or worse yet, substandard performance isn’t an option. I am depending on you. I trust you and have the utmost confidence in your ability. I know I raised you better than this and I am truly at my wits end. I’ve done everything I can and now it is up to you. I am frustrated and finding it difficult to not react negatively to what I see as lackluster effort. I love you unconditionally, but I think we have gotten off track somehow and we need to find our way back to a mutually respectful relationship. You need to show me that you are willing to hold up your end. Before I go I have just one more thing to say and then I will leave you to think about what I have said……….I’m not mad at you, I’m just very disappointed”
Then I just stood up from my seat on the raised bed concrete-block wall, turned and walked away, without a backward glance at the bed of speckled, green, purple and pole bean plants. It was best to make them wonder.
Seems I haven’t lost my parental guilt touch because just two days later……….boom, more than a basketful!