It was all I could think to say with a weary smile on my face. The tension was thick as I sat in the middle of a nasty fight between three heirs, all feeling threatened, all feeling they were just in their opinions, all throwing insults and trying to out-jab the other. After seeing a box of hot chocolate in the kitchen, I removed myself from the boxing ring and made hot chocolate for the four of us. I had never done anything like that before. Something moved me to do it.
As I served the hot chocolate without saying a word, the heirs stopped bickering, fell silent and just watched, wondering “What is that Estate Lady doing?” I calmly said, “Bet you didn’t think The Estate Lady was going to serve you hot chocolate today, did you? That’s not really part of my job description!”
The distraction worked as everyone chuckled and it disarmed the situation long enough for me to explain why everyone was so upset. Once I was able to mediate, it all went very smoothly, each having a clearer understanding of why the upset broke out in the first place, often caused by their own misperceptions.
As we each sipped the hot chocolate, it seemed to bring us back to frosty childhood days, bundled up so tight we couldn’t move. Maybe it was the flavor of the chocolate, maybe it was the smell or the warmth as it traveled into our bodies to take the chill off.
Sometimes, you just need to take a little break, sit back, and sip a little hot chocolate. It did wonders for us!
© 2011 Julie Hall