The weight of words
Blame it on strong Irish tempers, blame it on money, blame it on autism, blame it on life, or as I like to do from time to time, blame it on Jared! For years and years we not only haven’t edited the things we’ve said in our home, but niether the things we’ve shouted out and screamed in a fit of anger. When Emma began communicating, we had a few “Uh-oh” moments when we’d thought of all the things we might have said in front of the kids. I always have known that they must have hated the fights, but rarely would Emma seem upset by it… and never could she shout back “Stop it!” as I’m sure she wanted to badly.
One night, we got into a pretty heated discuss – okay, it was a fight. I went over and sat down next to Emma with the iPad.
Me: “I’m sorry, Emma. Don’t worry, it’s fine. Everything’s fine.”
She reached out to the keyboard.
Emma: admit your mistakes
Me: “What do you mean, Emma?”
Emma: take responsibility for your actions
This was certainly not the reaction I was expecting. After all, I don’t make mistakes. It’s almost always Jared’s fault. I was sure of it.
The other morning, after a particularly bad fight between Jared and I, we had this conversation when I held up the keyboard.
Me: “I’m really sorry about last night Emma. I hate fighting like that in front of you guys.”
Emma: get a divorce
Me: “What?! Why would you say that? I know we say really mean things sometimes, but sometimes there is just a lot of stress and it has nothing to do with you. We love each other and you and Hayden. I’m really sorry. I guess we all have bad days. What if we stop fighting? Would you still want us to get a divorce then?”
Me: “Well then, we’ll never fight again, okay?”
I know that it may seem like a completely impossible promise to keep, but we’re really trying to take this to heart and think twice about the things we say to each other. We’ve always been reckless with our words – carelessly throwing them everywhere with no regard for who might get crushed in the process. Not considering the kids…much less each other. And it’s so not cool in that “Sid and Nancy” kind of way anymore – not that it ever was. It’s easy to point out all the things that aren’t working right. It seems like when it comes to marriage, I sometimes stop looking “on the bright side” of things. Jared is one of the most giving, funny, and intelligent people I’ve ever known. And he is a wonderful father and husband. We have been through many ups and downs as all couples do. I guess it’s easy to be consumed by stress and blame the person that’s closest to you. But it’s hard to take words back once you say them. Is it too late to make up for the past? Is it ever really possible? I’m starting to see the impact of those moments. Emma has made me think differently about the weight of words.
To be honest, this wasn’t a post I was planning on doing, but Emma has once again inspired me. The other day, which happened to be the day after the big fight, I asked her if she had any ideas what we could do a blog post about.
Emma: about not fighting
Me: “Really? Are you sure you’d want to share that with everyone?…. But what message do you want to share with the people reading it?”
Emma: to try really hard not to fight in front of the kids
Me: “Okay, Emma.” Naturally I was feeling hesitant. But then I thought, why not. “I will.”
Talk about airing your dirty laundry. I guess either you all can relate….or you may look at us a little differently. Judge away! I am not a perfect person, much less a perfect wife, and am being reminded lately that I’m definitely not a perfect parent. But hopefully it’s never too late to discover and grow. Maybe we’re all just a work in progress. For all I might have taught her over the years, I am certainly learning a lot from Emma.