“What?  Where does he got off saying that?”

Hub had warned me about the content of the email before he showed it to me, but I still reacted negatively.  How dare his brother accuse my husband of things that simply were not true?  I continued to read the email and every time I read a new accusation I reacted in the same way–with anger.

“He is so wrong!”  My voice was raising.  “I hope you are going to set him straight!”

Hub’s replies were always quiet.  He shared with me some of the ideas he had for his answering email.  By the time I finished reading the email I had had several outbursts.  Hub’s plan for dealing with it seemed right and would certainly calm things down.  He is so good that way.  As we finished our exchange in Hub’s home office I joked that the kids could probably hear my outbursts and probably thought we were fighting.

I walked into the kitchen where Squid and Mack were snacking on honeydew melon.  They both looked at me and then Mack asked somewhat hesitantly, “Soooo, what was all the yelling about?”

“Oh, I was upset about an email Uncle C sent to Hub.”

Squid was watching me intently.  “So you and my dad weren’t fighting?”

“No!  Heavens no!  I just don’t like some of the things Uncle C is accusing Hub of doing.  None of them are true.”

Mack and Squid visibly relaxed and went back to eating their honeydew melon.  Just as Hub walked into the kitchen, in walked Shroom from the computer room, one iPod ear bud hanging down and the other securely in place in his left ear.  Shroom looked at both of us and asked, “What was all the yelling about?”

I leaned against the counter.  “I wasn’t happy about some things Uncle C wrote about your dad.”

“Oh, so it wasn’t a fight?”

“No.”  I gestured towards Hub.  “I wasn’t yelling at him!  I was yelling at the computer, at an email on the computer.”

The image of me yelling at the computer must have been funny because all three kids laughed.

I continued, “And he wrote it in all caps!  He was yelling at my husband!  In an email!  And none of it was true!  No one yells at my husband!  They will face the wrath of Kweenmama!”

More laughter.  Hub told the kids a little about what was going on and then we all went about the evening’s business.  As I reflected on it later, I realized that my yelling at the computer probably caused some worry in our kids who heard it.  They have all experienced the divorce of their parents.  It would be natural for them to feel some anxiety if they hear what they perceive to be an argument between us.  Hub and I have tried to present a stable, normal relationship for the kids to see.  In past conversations with the kids, and in comments we’ve heard in passing, we know the kids feel secure in our relationship.  They feel safe here.  It is unfortunate that they don’t feel the same way when they are with their other parents.  I feel sad that my negative reaction caused some unnecessary worry in some of our kids.

I will make more of a conscious effort to keep my voice down, even if I am dealing with a snotty, untrue email written in ALL CAPS!