“You’re a poor pathetic loser!
You need your mommy to babysit you!”
Can you believe I’d say something so mean? To my own daughter??
When Sarah was home for the summer, we spent many lazy mornings sitting on the couch, drinking coffee and watching television. We dvr-ed a lot of programs, including The Bachelorette.
(Don’t get me started on all the problems with that show or I’ll rant for a solid week. It’s a sacrifice I make for my daughter.)
One Monday morning we watched the two-hour finale. Emily sent Ari packing and introduced Jef-with-one-F to her daughter, Ricki. And they lived happily ever after. (Cue swelling crescendo, fade to title screen, and… pass the tissues. NOT)
I’m not one to sit for long stretches, especially watching television. A tidal wave of “go DO something” crashes over me and I scamper to get busy. Two hours of unreal reality television had nearly “done the old woman in,” as Eliza Doolittle would say.
Sorry to leave Sarah but anxious to go DO something, I retreated to my office to work on an article. About the time I settled at my desk, Sarah came upstairs.
“MOM – Extreme Makeover Home Edition is running a marathon! You’ve gotta see this little boy – his name is JOB!”
I never looked up, “No more TV for me this morning,” I grunted. “I need at least an hour to finish this.”
I heard her voice crack as she muttered something and darted out of the room. Uh oh, I thought. I followed her down the hall. Tears filled her big brown eyes. “I’m sorry, sweetie.”
I hugged her. There was a lot of other stuff going on. For one thing, her Army boyfriend had just left for officer training in Missouri. “The article can wait. Let me shut down the laptop and we’ll hang out today.”
Off we went to drink more coffee and watch Ty Pennington work his magic.
A couple of weeks later, we laughed as we told the story to my sister. “Sarah was having a weepy day,” I said, “So we spent the day hanging out.”
Sarah’s version included,
“Yeah, and Mom told me,
‘You’re a poor pathetic loser!
You need your mommy to babysit you!’”
“I did NOT say that!” I snapped.
“Well,” she countered, “that’s what I HEARD!”
That’s what I heard
How many times have I heard things that were never said? Or even implied? More times than I care to admit.
- When IBM said I didn’t have the experience they required, I heard, “You’re stupid and probably aren’t even suited to a career in this field.”
- When my son’s preschool teacher recommended we wait to send him to kindergarten, I heard, “You’re a bad mom. Good moms prepare their five-year-olds to start school.”
- When an editor rejects an article, I sometimes hear, “You are a terrible writer. We’ll never accept your drivel so please stop bothering us with it.”
Do you ever hear those things?
Emotions, insecurities and fears are like cheap sunglasses:
they shade and distort our perspective.
Care to tweet?
- “Another company will be a better fit. Keep looking and I’ll lead you to the right job.”
- “Scott needs time to mature. Be patient and remember that I’m the One ordering his steps.”
- “That publication doesn’t need your article. Write what I give you and trust Me to put it in the right hands.”
We’ve turned this into a game at our house, jabbering on with the most outlandish messages we can think of, and following it with “Well, that’s what I HEARD!”