At the New Years party this year I said something that sounded stupid or
perhaps even insulting. Someone was talking about something that that
one of their kids had done that resulted in some sort of punishment. It
made me think about the girls and our experiences over the past almost 4
years that we have been living without Cindy.
Since Cindy died I’ve been criticized for some of the decisions that the
girls and I have made. I say “the girls and I” because for the
decisions that affect their lives directly I try to let them be part of
the decision making process. Things like choosing the style of clothes,
haircuts and makeup all the way up to choosing which High School to
attend. I’m sure some of that is because I have a hard time making
choices. I always fear making the “wrong” choice so much that I can
become static and not make a choice at all.
As I was listening to the discussion about some digression by one of the
other kids I was feeling thankful that the girls have been so for lack
of a better term, well behaved. It’s not that they are perfect kids.
Their rooms get to be a mess, they can sometimes leave the house a mess,
for a variety of reasons they make me crazy at times, but all in all
they seem to always try to do the right thing. As those thoughts were
rolling around in my head I inserted a thought into the conversation.
“I’m so glad that I haven’t had any discipline problems with the girls,
it must be that Cindy did a good job raising them.” Or something to
that affect. I think I intended it as a somewhat self deprecating
comment in that I didn’t think that there was any skill involved on my
part in affecting the way the girls behave. More that they had somehow
learned early on, during the time when Cindy was home with them, values
that have guided them and formed the behavior and personalities that
they have today.
What came out I think sounded to the moms I was talking with more like,
I’m sure glad my kids were raised better than yours.
Even more evidence that my deprecating comment was deserved, I am an
idiot at times. Here I was thinking about how to praise Cindy and her
memory (or at least my fading memories of her), and instead end up
insulting the moms that I have relied upon for so much help these past
years raising the girls.
To the moms I’ve insulted, I apologize. It wasn’t my intention to
those thought come out the way they did. I’m not sure there was a good
way to express my feelings in that situation and I think I’ve learned
that in some situations I probably need to spend more time with my mouth
shut than with it open.