While I admit to being surgically attached to my Kindle, I still love an excursion to an actual bookstore. There’s really nothing like holding an old school book in your hand: leafing through the pages, admiring the cover art, daring the jacket blurb to draw you in.  And the unspoken agreement amongst my fellow bookworms that silence (or at least hushed chatter) is golden.  This is my version of Heaven.

Well, it was until yesterday.

Looking forward to some deliciously pointless browsing, I entered my favorite local haunt and began meandering the aisles. I had no idea that my sweet bubble of serenity was about to be shattered by six little words:


After I let out a startled expletive (and apologized profusely to the elderly couple standing next to me), I turned just in time to see Josh. I had never met this banshee…er, child…before.  But I knew his name was Josh because his mother kept repeating it like a mantra as he knocked book after book off the shelves in a fit of rage.

“Josh. Josh.  JOSH.  You stop that right now.”

Yes, the lack of exclamation points is deliberate. She had probably seen Josh The Destroyer have so many public meltdowns that she was virtually immune to his piercing shriek and flailing limbs. Unfortunately, the rest of us were not inoculated against his tirades.  Looks were exchanged as Mom continued to peruse the literary offerings while her son worked out his angst on a bunch of innocent paperbacks.

Several people got up to leave.  And after seeing that no management (or law enforcement) intervention was imminent, I decided to join them.

As I drove home, my irritation gradually gave way to introspection. I was not happy that my oasis of peace was invaded.  The kid’s behavior was hugely irritating and inappropriate.

But it wasn’t abnormal.

It’s human nature to want to express ourselves with unbridled freedom.  But as adulthood looms, we learn out of necessity that kicking and screaming (literally and figuratively) are usually not the best ways to get our point across.

But we don’t just learn to curtail our tantrums.

We learn to rein in our brilliance.  Our uniqueness. And so our God given gifts and talents get shoved aside, then ultimately locked away.

So we can be practical.




That is, until we rise up and say to whatever is standing in our way:

“You’re not the boss of me.”

Thanks, Josh.  I think you’re on to something.

(Just take the words of wisdom down a few hundred decibels next time, okay?)