I don't wish to be laid back; I wish to change the world. And I am always armed. Like not with a gun or a knife, but with words and super dirty looks.
Anyway, that is not the point of tonight's Yoke! Tonight, I'd just like to share with all my readers how confusing and offensive human beings are to all other human beings. And look, I talk a lot! I write a lot! I am definitely offensive. But today, I'd rather complain about others and avoid self-reflection.
Like with my own confusing and offensive communication experience in the past, my children experience the same sort of interludes on a regular basis. All three of them talk to a lot of people and all three of them are very good at recalling the specifics of verbal transgressions. The past week has been filled with hours and hours of helping my children understand what the "someones" in their lives have meant when they've said things to them.
When my children share these offensive things with me, I always try to spin it into something less offensive; but really in the end it is impossible. People open their mouths and strange things come out.
Like when someone called me laid back! I AM NOT LAID BACK!
Okay, I am getting side tracked again.
The point is when these offensive things are said, I really cannot spin it to mean anything other than what it means. When you tell my dyslexic son that an audiobook isn't a real book, you are being a jerk. I used to think my job was to make him believe statements like that were not offensive to protect his feelings, but really that is teaching my children to give people a free pass to say whatever they want. It is teaching my children that they can just be 'laid-back' when it comes to the way people communicate with them.
And that is the last thing I want.
If I spin the offensive things people say, I am also encouraging my children to not listen to their intuition and inner voice. We all know it isn't just the words, but it's how those words are said and its when and where and the context that makes the words come alive.
When my kids come home with their stories of offense, I am just honest with them and tell them that people are sometimes jerks or have agendas or are ignorant.
I also tell them that it is not our job to educate them--but it can be if we choose. I hope my son makes the choice to use the audiobook misinformation to educate his teachers and peers about dyslexia and language and content processing. I hope he never stops listening to audiobooks--because he loves to listen. (I should have guessed all of this when he was 4 years old and able to explain immunotherapy at the dinner table after listening to recordings of my researcher interviews.).
So when the tears and screaming comes home, after a long day, out in the wild with all the offensive human beings, I know my kids expect some very sage advice or magical wisdom. I don't have any, but I do have this:
People are total jerks sometimes, we need to stop listening. Oh, and we just have to forgive them, because we are also total jerks sometimes. Now, go do your homework and pray, Lord knows we need the prayers. And when you pray ask why someone said I was laid-back in 2016, thanks!