Honoring Friends

With all the negativity circulating social media and most often in my morning news feed, I made a couple of self-preservation decisions. One was to start my morning with coffee and my journal. In other words, I don’t start my day reading the stuff that gets my blood pumping. I’m journaling “almost” regularly now, like I used to, since 1987. The current journal’s (numbered #38) opening date is August 23, 2013. That’s over three years ago! Which at one time would  have been unheard of.

I’ve also begun writing what I’ll call a “long piece,” because I’m not ready to call it a novel yet. So far, I have 15 pages and 7500 words. Which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s an accomplishment for me to actually DO it. I have so many ideas that I bounce back and forth between this one and that – which do I want to write? So I can now say I’m committed to writing this one.

I met the sweetest woman at the restaurant about a month ago who told me she keeps a Gratitude journal. Every day she writes in this journal, about something she is grateful for. I thought, what a wonderful idea! So positive, so enlightening, so powerful. We ALL need more of this, especially now. I decided that I wanted to keep one too, but couldn’t decide whether to include it in my current journal or keep a separate one just for gratitude, and then I thought that perhaps there would be times they’d overlap and then it would be like writing twice, and who has time for that? Plus, I could be in danger of creating my own version of the Golden Notebook and I already have enough anxiety.

Anyway, back to social media. I started what I’m calling an Honoring Friends Initiative. Every day I choose a friend to honor. So, in essence, it’s very much a gratitude-type of journal, only it’s public.

I’m 8 days into what I limited to a 30-day initiative. It’s been easy so far, with the exception of locating a suitable photo with both of us in it. I clarified that it was random, so that the order in which I introduced each of them wasn’t a declaration of their order of importance to me – which I suspected could easily be misinterpreted.

What I’ve noticed so far, on this eighth day, is that if I had to get married all over again, traditional wedding and all – I would want every one of them to stand up with me.

These eight women are comprised of a friend who traveled with my family to Greece when we were 14, another dear friend I met at the bus stop who 30 years later is still one of my closest, my oldest friend I’ve known for all (but 5 months) of my 47 years, a best friend with whom I shared all the ups and downs of adolescence, my pledge sister from my first college, another long-time friend and maid-of-honor (the first time around), my roommate at NYU, and still another long-time friend who’s been there since the 6th grade.

They are all special in their own ways, they have all been “best friends” with whom I have collectively shared laughter and tears, sarcasm, arguments, hugs, secrets, sleepovers and concerts, late nights, hangovers, vacations and silly adventures, broken hearts and weddings, and most of all – unwavering friendship in spite of our absences.

What is life without friendships? They are all valuable, for they are all different. I want to thank those eight ladies for their friendship and love, in spite of me.

My friends have made the story of my life…. turned my limitations into beautiful privileges, and enabled me to walk serene and happy. ~ Helen Keller

 

 

 

 

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Flashback: July 25, 1989

July 25, 1989

I realize now just what I need in a relationship with that degree of commitment.  I need to be me, plain and simple, and never lose my separate identity. I’m aware of my good qualities in spite of the bad, and that I should never put up with bullshit, because it’s not worth my time. I can do better. I’m still healing from the breakup with Ben. I sent that letter I wrote him. I’m hoping he’ll call. Which is probably why I can’t fully engage my heart and mind with John.

Speaking of phone calls…Todd called me last night. We haven’t spoken in two years. We spent some time catching up. He said he considered coming back to visit this weekend, but then he changed his mind. I’m considering going to Baltimore to visit him some weekend. I don’t know.

I nearly hit a dog today – it ran out on the street and scared me half to death, no kidding. Sherry and I went shopping the other day, spent a ton of dad’s money and I came home with some beautiful clothes. She told me that dad thinks that the grandkids he’ll have some day will be immaculately conceived. She found this enormously funny. I’m not sure whether she expected me to dispute the fact, but I said nothing and instead laughed with her.

Work at the nursing home has been slow lately, but being there makes me feel a little better… changing the beds and delivering meals…. Tonight I got to feed Eleanor and Mary R. at the same time, while Mary F. entertained with her usual striptease in the dining room. The RN came over and says, “Mary, I’ve had it!” Mary looked up at her and said in the most casual of voices, “well — who gave it to you?”  Agreeable Eleanor just nods and giggles to herself. Linda and I just lost it.

I was talking to Dorothy earlier, who told me she’ll be 84 in October. She was telling me about a thunderstorm where she got shocked by her vacuum cleaner.  She doesn’t really look like she’ll be 84. But then, Mary G. doesn’t look like 98 either. Eloisa is this little old Sicilian lady who grabbed a hold of me when I wasn’t expecting it and wouldn’t let go. She holds on so tight, it’s painful. I can’t say I wasn’t warned not to get too close to her. She was imploring me for medicine for her “head-achy.”

Mr. “A” is the grandfather of a classmate of mine. I was warned about him too. He’s very touchy-feely. Still, the nurses let me walk him back to his room at the end of the hall from dinner one night. The walk back to his room was slow and very awkward, as he tried his best to wrap his hands around my personal parts. He’s sneaky and subtle about it too, and I’d bet my car he uses his “senility” to get away with it.

 

 

 

Dad

 

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It’s taken me a very long time to sit down and write this. It’s difficult to explain – it’s not anything bad or to suggest indifference, but I just can’t seem to put this relationship into words. Or, maybe, I just don’t want to share it with anyone else.

In brief public statements, I have often said he’s the first man who ever loved me. It’s cute – and meant to be – but it is also the truth. To a little girl, the first man to love her will set the standard for all her expectations in the future. It is an awesome responsibility and, while there are a great many who met the challenge, there are also many who fell short whether by intention or by virtue of being broken themselves. I wanted to acknowledge the latter, because I have a few friends who feel let down by the first man they put their trust in. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I was an accident. Accident – because my mom and dad were dating and they were 19, and “apparently” they weren’t thinking about the consequences of certain actions. They were in love, I guess, and in the late 60s people got married under these circumstances. To make a short story even shorter, the marriage didn’t last.

Statistically, divorced fathers of children under the age of 5 are at a very high risk of not being involved in their children’s lives, or abandon them altogether. I was lucky.

The first man who loved me, loved me from the start. (And if he didn’t – no one ever told me any different.) I was lucky.

My dad was there for me. I never had a doubt of this – at any part of my life. I have snippets of memory of a life lived with him, when I was very small – more mundane than worth writing about, and mostly snapshots of the home I don’t remember.

He gave me the greatest, most enduring gift a father can give, besides his own love and support – he gave me my family. I am 75-and-one-quarter percent who I am because of them. They are my most valuable treasure.

Dad and I spent every Sunday together. We spent time with my grandparents and aunts and uncles. He taught me how to swim before I could walk. He taught me how to play pool and basketball.

He took me on wonderful adventures. He took me on a twin-engine plane ride. We went ice skating. We visited Washington, D.C. and New York City. We spent many summers at the Jersey Shore, and he posed for an Old-Time photo with me when I was 13.

We went away a couple of times to spend long winter weekends in the Catskills at a friend’s house, where I fed birds and deer from my hand, went tobogganing with the other kids, and walked across frozen ponds on rope bridges.

For my 10th birthday, he took me on my first jet plane to Orlando – to visit the wonderful world of Disney. The following year we drove to Orlando, making stops in Colonial Williamsburg and South of the Border, where I got a toy toilet that squirted water when I lifted the lid.

My dad took me to my first day of college, where he and my mother put aside their decade-old acrimony to smooth my transition. He supported my decision to transfer to a big city university two years later. He gave me the freedom to have no clue what I wanted to be when I grew up, so long as I chose something, which of course would never be set in stone forever.

He taught me to never be a quitter. He tangled with the tantrum years and the teenaged angst. He showed me his vulnerability when his father passed away, and it never scared me – but made me realize he was still just a [hu]man with a dad he dearly loved. He showed me how to honor family, by being there for his mother.

He walked me down the aisle of my first wedding, and gave me away to a man who wasn’t half the man he was. And when that marriage imploded, he took me into his home and gave me a sanctuary, held me when I cried, and talked me down off the ledge. He sat in the courtroom behind me. He is my greatest defender, perhaps eclipsed only by Todd today, and I know he is grateful if that’s a fact.

On the day I married Todd, he was there – silently standing at the back of the district courtroom. He didn’t walk me down the aisle, not because I didn’t want him to, but because he had taught me that I could stand on my own. On the day of our celebration, he hugged me and with a tear in his eye told me he loved Todd and was so glad he was my husband – and I knew to the core of my soul that he meant it.

We don’t get to see each other as much as I’d like, but we have frequent phone calls that I cherish for the laughter we share in those moments – the humor I inherited from him – we never have to explain what’s funny to each other.

I suppose I haven’t written about him because I cherish him so deeply, and I don’t really want to talk about it. Those who know me well, know the nature of our relationship, and I don’t have to explain it. It’s amazing. He has this ability – which I don’t think he’s aware of – of knowing when I need him, and he just shows up.

I don’t know what else to say. There’s so much more and I ramble too much. I also worry that I can’t do him justice.

He is my dad. I love him more than anything, and I am so blessed that God chose him for me.

 

Road Trip – Survival of the Fittest

It’s that time of year again – state bowling tournament and a road trip for Todd and me. I love road trips. I’ve had this idea of driving cross-country for over twenty years. I imagined driving across the southern states to California and then back east across the northern states. I guess you could say this is on the bucket list I have yet to write up. My dad has done the drive to Texas several times for my brother who attended university there and I’ve lived vicariously through their stories of the best steakhouse shack they ever stumbled across, the flat tire about 14 hours into the drive, and their multiple stops in New Orleans. I so wish I could’ve gone along at least once. (Maybe not for the flat tire trip.)

My dad told me that he once went on a road trip with a girl he was dating (obviously this was a century ago), and how by the time they got to their destination they wanted to kill each other. It ultimately ended the relationship before they even made it back. Now, I could’ve told him – had I not been 4 years old – that one should start with a short road trip, you know, to test the waters. Somehow being 18 hours away from home with a once-adored someone whose neck would look better with your hands around it, seems like a recipe for homicide – or, at the very least – a very bad case of constipation.

Todd and I are two peas in a pod. To say we travel well together is an understatement. We are an old married couple of newlyweds with a white-hot sex life. (C’mon – I had to throw that in there before ya’ll started yawning.) So – I am very excited to be on the next road trip with him. The bowling tournament, not so much.

Bowling is like sports’ lazy-eyed cousin. The sports world wants them hidden away … the alleys are almost always in seedy, run-down parts of town where no one would go after dark without an escort. It’s never been a sport where someone asks what you play and then says, “awesome!”

He went to a different tournament last weekend and I was grateful I had to work. This is because he went to Scranton (an old coal-mining town in northeastern PA) and every time I’m driving through desolate areas in parts of Pennsylvania I get angina. It’s difficult to explain – just consider it an old wound that’s healing about as fast as an ulcer. The only saving grace on that trip last year, and the state tournament to Erie two years ago – was Xanax Todd. (Really, I don’t even have Xanax.) (Though I’m beginning to think I should.) He kept me off the ledge.

Road trips are a true test of marriage and friendship, not to mention parenting – but for the sake of this conversation, there are no children on this road trip. (This is another whole post, for which I will need Xanax just to recount.) Being in a tight and enclosed space with that other person for hours on end …. The flow of conversation, the mutual enjoyment of silence or musical choices, compassion for bathroom breaks, and agreement on food and beverage options … is critical for maintaining serenity and suppressing the desire to jump out of a moving car. That and not getting drunk and being the one passed out in the passenger seat (true story). Or, sharing the driving duties – assuming your driving doesn’t make your passenger carsick (sadly, another true story).

The liberal use of brakes is forbidden, as is the waving of certain fingers and raising one’s voice at other drivers. Reckless driving is also frowned upon, though that’s more difficult on the open highway in east-Bumblefuck PA. (This is a real place. Look it up.) Swearing at the GPS is acceptable, as long as one finds his sense of humor soon after. Handholding is cool, but not so long that one of you loses sensation in that hand. Hanky panky is just plain dangerous when the car is in motion, but suggestion is a powerful aphrodisiac that may propel the car faster to its destination – and, if you have tinted windows, an impromptu truck stop detour may be reasonable so long as bathrooms are available and you don’t park near any other vehicles.

Departure is t-minus 6 hours. I can’t wait.

 

 

What? or, I Didn’t Hear That?

Another blessing of being middle-aged – hearing loss. I’m simultaneously being sarcastic, and serious. Most of the time I find it annoying, since people who inherently speak in lower tones will be speaking to the deaf if they’re talking to me. Here’s how you can tell when I’m not hearing you: I lean in slowly and I smile and nod a lot. Those I’m familiar with I’m happy to say, what? Those I don’t know well, I take the road silently traveled and pretend to hear every word. This is bad. I know it’s bad, the same way retrospect reminds me how bad it was to ignore what I didn’t understand in 9th grade algebra and never asked any questions.

At home, it’s become a growing problem that ultimately pisses me off. My kids will say something to me, and I’ll respond with a hmmm? or a what?  And then they say – nevermind. This is a problem, because they’re frustrated that I can’t hear them, and I’m frustrated because I’m afraid I’ll miss something important they’re sharing with me like, the house is on fire or …that I’m on fire. I don’t want to stop the dialogue, especially when my 15-year-old son is sharing with me. It’s the crumb I will jump at like a squirrel on a birdfeeder.

This morning Todd was working on programming and so I settled into my chair with my laptop and a cup of coffee, content to read Facebook and emails quietly and not interrupt him. But he got up and wandered into the kitchen, presumably to refill his own coffee, and then he started talking. I listened intently, as often I’m trying to determine whether he’s texting someone, thinking aloud, or actually talking to me. It’s anybody’s guess. This time, he was talking to me. But then he’s wandering around the kitchen, and ultimately into the dining room where he mutters something unintelligible.

I said, what?

Nevermind, he said, sighing heavily with what I interpreted as frustration.

Now it’s my turn to be frustrated. I can’t help that I can’t hear, and everyone in this house just gets mad at me when I ask them, ‘what?’!

Apparently if I say, “I didn’t hear that,” it instantly translates to, I didn’t hear that. Which, apparently, is less offensive than saying, “what?” because apparently “what” translates as, I wasn’t listening. Which apparently IS offensive.

I need a rule book on communicating with hearing loss. Perhaps I should write it.

The first rule is to tell everyone – I don’t hear well. Which I already do, most of the time, especially when I’m having to ask someone to repeat something – like how they want their filet prepared (this is life and death, people!) – or when I’m getting instructions on writing a specific grant application. Details! Details! Very critical.

The family already knows I don’t hear well, but apparently they have memory problems. Which creates one big angry circle of words lost in the Bermuda triangle between my ears and their lips. Perhaps a sign? I could wear a sign around my neck.

The silver lining to the hearing loss is not hearing the bitching that accompanies growing adolescents. A whining voice (which I can decipher) I can meet with a “what?” and when they choose to not repeat it? WIN.

Never Date Somebody You’ve Never Noticed

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Imagine that you one day meet someone who has been admiring you from afar that you didn’t even know existed before they mustered up the courage to enter your orbit. Imagine that you’ve been pining away for someone else entirely. Now imagine that this secret admirer asks you out. You are either flattered or horrified. Let’s assume it’s the former, and you figure – what the hell? (Except maybe when you’re really young, you don’t use that kind of language yet.)

What the hell, you say? Don’t Do It. It won’t end well. At least it doesn’t when you’re an incurable flirt, immature, and … me. It didn’t end well because it wasn’t meant to be, was a waste of time, and took me away from my destiny. (Cue Soap Opera organ music.)

I stumbled on one of three journals I kept in my teen years, this small, navy-blue-with-white-flowers-on-it cloth-covered book. It was filled with song lyrics of the day (ahem <cough> 80s) and some really lame prose I’d written about love and longing, peppered with a little bit of lust I had yet to experience. My memory isn’t terrible, and so I can remember meeting Todd when I was 15 and what that was like. I’ve written about it before. We saw, we met, we … didn’t date. But I was definitely into him. What I didn’t know was that he was too. I mean, I thought he was, but he never even asked me out. If “WTF” existed then, I’d have posted multiple pics of my crush from a safe distance, on Instagram, captioned with it.

What was really cool about finding this journal is reading the words my 15-year-old self said about him that I’d never read in 30 years. Some senior I barely knew asked me out and I wrote that I was going on my first date – and that “Todd waited too long…” as if he were to blame for it.

I ended up dating this other guy in college who I never even knew existed. Eleven months later – was it a mistake? I don’t know, I’m truly not one to say I regret something. There are lessons, sometimes. But it was one hell of a painful lesson I didn’t think I needed. I got dumped and rebounded into another thing with yet another guy I never knew existed. And guess who came back in the middle of my rebound? Todd.

I wasn’t ready for that. As I revisit old journals to tell my tales of New York, I see just how not ready I was. New friends, new experiences… new guys… oh there were plenty of them for my incurably flirtatious self to distract myself with. It’s almost embarrassing, and why I won’t be retelling those tales if I can help it.

We spoke a handful of times that summer I moved to New York. We wrote letters. I held onto the last one he sent me – where he had hand-drawn a rose at the bottom – for more than 10 years. I regret that I allowed it to be taken from me by jealousy.

We talked about this recently. I told him I was writing this post. This all sounds like I obsess over “what if” … and I’m focused on the past I cannot change. I know someone who’s going to say so, and will also tell me that I should be focused on the blessings that we have today (you will be wrong, and I do, and I love you for caring). Anyway, what came of our conversation was this: I was literally flying by the seat of my pants back then and that I wasn’t ready for anything. I knew it, too. I wrote about it constantly.

The other thing that came of it was this: I was immature and wasn’t self-aware enough to know better. Todd said, you took what you could get. It wasn’t what I was looking for, but I took what I could get.

You go through life and you’re looking for something… and it’s just not there… or you think you’ll never find it. But others are there and it seems okay, so …. Take what you can get.

And now I think I’ve talked myself into a circle, or is it a corner? Am I advising against dating someone you never noticed? No, cause that would be stupid. Do I really obsess over this? Nah…I just enjoy dissecting things sometimes. It’s fun to imagine where we’d be without those “intermissions.”

One thing I know for sure – the route may have been different, but the destination would still be the same.

 

 

Overheard in a Fitting Room

A 10-year-old walks into a space-challenged fitting room after trying on a dress, and wedges herself into the corner seat. The click of hangers and whoosh of fabrics … a few seconds of trivial conversation turns to this.
 
Dad really loves Stephanie.
I hope so. I’m glad.
You want him to be happy.
Yes, I do.
Why did you and dad get divorced?
We didn’t get along. We fought a lot.
But you don’t fight anymore.
That’s because we’re not married anymore.
What did you fight about?
Everything. We didn’t see eye-to-eye on very much. But I’m not sorry we got married – because I have you, and your brother.
You’d still have us, even if you married Todd instead.
Well, I’d still have kids, they just wouldn’t have been you and –
Yeah, cause then we’d look like Todd. Eww!
What?!
Well, his face is skinny…
What are you saying?
No – I mean, he’s alright but –
Well, I like him.

 

Snowfalls, Remembered

Over a glass of Knob Creek, and after an impromptu cleanup of an overflowing toilet in the kids’ bathroom…
 
All this snow – and a Facebook post by a friend who lives in New York City – had me thinking about snowfalls past.
While I was a student at NYU, I loved the days it snowed and blanketed the city in pristine white. There was this one magical snow that I have never forgotten. It was the end of 1990- the beginning of 1991 – I was home on break but returned to the city one weekend to spend time with this guy was I was dating. We decided to go to the movies – we saw Awakenings in an intimately small midtown theatre and I was blown away by Robert DeNiro’s performance. I was feeling hormonal and particularly emotional, and tried so hard not to cry and embarrass myself.
It had started snowing during the movie so that the scene outside the theatre was positively beautiful. The side street was white and unadulterated by tire marks, and there was the occasional cab skidding by on 3rdAvenue. Otherwise, just the snow falling silently all around us, ghostly steam rising out of the manhole covers, and people leisurely walking –so black and white, like a scene out of a silent film. I could hear the sound of my own heart beating. He took me by the hand and together we walked the distance back to our dorm. I don’t remember what we talked about, or even what I felt – other than overcome by the magic of a silent, white New York on a snowy night, telling myself I never wanted to leave. If you’ve lived there, you know those moments don’t last. The next morning would be brown and potholes full of icy, dirty water would have to be navigated, along with slippery sidewalks and cold, gusty winds.
I don’t often remember whole events in my life, but certain scenes just stand out. Kind of like old photographs in an old dusty album. They are memories, but only tell a tiny part of the story.
Another snippet – a frigid, snowy night on 3rd Avenue again. My roommate and I were distracted from our studies by the sounds of our neighbors in the suite next door, making a ruckus from their window catty-corner from ours. They had started an impromptu baseball game with a stranger in an apartment across the street, baseballs crafted from snow collected from the rooftop above the 12th floor. Snow they carried down the elevator. Our friend was pitching the snowballs across 12th street and the stranger was hanging out his 4th floor window hitting them with a frying pan.
Most magical snowfall ever? The night Todd and I stole a kiss under the moonlight while the snow fell silently all around us, just a few weeks before we went public, the second time.
What’s your most magical snowfall? Tell me, I wanna know.

 

Respect, Accountability, and a New Name

It’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, the day after MLK, Jr. day. Not a sound in the house… because my children are still sleeping. That’s because they were up late partying with their uncle Matt, playing Wii, until Veruca came and woke me at midnight to announce she was going to bed.
Why Veruca, you ask? Because I’m changing her name. (As for the late bedtime, you can address my parenting skills or lack of them, later. Just after you explain to me what a perfect parent is.)
I actually started a blog post 2 weeks ago about this very topic… and it looks like this…
~I have decided to rename everyone in the house. Out of frustration, it’s all I can do to cope with the ridiculousness that is my house.
I’ll start with the youngest. My daughter will now be known as Veruca. Little Veruca wants what she wants and she is none too happy when things don’t go her way. Little Veruca is worse with daddy, which isn’t “really” funny but in a way I feel like karma has been served up rare and tangy like my tuna tartare. Veruca doesn’t get away with much here. Plus her evil stepfather calls her out on her bullshit in a much calmer way (read: not screaming like a lunatic and foaming at the mouth) than her mother.
This morning she laid in bed until the last minute. We did an insulin pump set change and after 7 years of pumping you would think that would go smooth as flan. Not. She will twist herself in a panic over where I’m putting the site, and then insist the spot isn’t a good one – as if I have no idea what I’m doing. It is positively maddening. Then she wanted a sweatshirt that was in the wash, and complained she had “nothing to wear.” Or, rather – that the sweatshirt was the only one that goes with her outfit.
As I walked out of her room and back to the kitchen, the door slammed shut. Back down the hall I went, took a deep breath, and reached for the door handle. She opened it suddenly, and tried to tell me it was “an accident.” That’s her favorite excuse for missteps these days, like on New Year’s Eve when I called her and she ended the call telling me that Owen couldn’t come to the phone right now because “he’s taking a shit.” Oh yes, she did. It was an accident.  I can only guess where she learned the phrase above – she certainly didn’t hear it here.
Nevertheless, we had a long, one-sided conversation where she learned that the next time she complains about her clothes not being clean and/or slams her door at me, she’ll be doing her own laundry. And then I reiterated that communication (without raising your voice, too) is key to getting what you need without conflict. Pat me on the back. I know Todd would be proud. ~
Anyway, I guess I had planned to continue reassigning names, but I got stuck on#2. I don’t really have many complaints about my firstborn – other than his inability to say he’s sorry and his annoying habit of interrupting. Which, for the record, are not meant to be downplayed.
I hate being interrupted. It’s a peeve I’ve had as long as I can remember – one of the most memorable being my 17th birthday. Every time I opened my mouth, someone else would start talking. It pissed me off so much, I just stopped talking. I mean, it was MY birthday and they wouldn’t have been enjoying this fine dinner on a deck overlooking South Street if it weren’t for ME. (The only-child syndrome notwithstanding. Which I was, until somebody decided it was a great idea to give me a brother when I was old enough to be his mother.) (Did that sound sarcastic and ungrateful? It wasn’t meant to be. I love my big little brother – and his ability to put away an expensive bottle of single malt.)
Todd remembers it differently – and snickers as he recalls how every time my mom went to take a bite of her chicken I’d start clucking under my breath. I think he’s wrong. I do not remember this at all.
Anyway, the “I’m sorry” issue is a big fish to fry. My son, at fifteen, will always respond defensively to any accusation and then make excuses why he did the offensive thing, rather than apologize. His dad is notorious for placing blame on others, rather than be accountable himself. I don’t recall the words ever leaving his lips in the 13 years we were married. As for me, and being always the target of blame, I rarely apologized to him. The reasons may be wrong, but they are quite clear. To apologize to him meant he was right to blame me, and that led to more accusations and more opportunities for me to BE wrong.
What O took away from that? You don’t have to say you’re sorry, there’s always someone or something else to blame, and – especially when you’re the unfair target of blame – you refuse to be made further wrong. In dad’s house, he is blamed a lot for Veruca’s reactions. As a young child, he was chastised for not giving her what she was screaming for. In our house today, everyone is accountable. However, that doesn’t make the “s” word come any easier. It’s a work in progress.
The house is quieter these days. Neph has taken his leave and moved home. I have mixed feelings about it. It was nice to have a “third child” but he is, in reality, an “adult” with very definite ideas of what he does and doesn’t want. He is the oldest son in his household, and with that comes a sense of entitlement that is difficult to grasp at times. He has a great deal to learn. As do my kids, but I’m hoping to do it with a lot less drama – God willing. Accountability is high on the list here.
And now, in an effort to keep my posts to roughly no more than 1,000 words, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘ what are you doing for others?’