Friday, June 25, 2010

Watch Your Mouth!

I really hate to hurt people's feelings. As sarcastic and snarky as I can be, I am usually the topic of the snark and sarcasm, and I especially hate it when I accidentally hurt someone's feelings. I work with words for a living and I know how powerful they can be.

Because of my dislike of hurting people and my understanding of the strength of words, I try very hard to make sure my son knows how to monitor his speech. Or I thought I did.

The other day, I heard him say someone was fat. Thankfully, we weren't close enough for the person to hear. The thing is, Nicholas was just describing the person, he wasn't making a judgement (the person being fat was neither good nor bad). But, one day it will be a judgement and I hate that. I hate even more that it will be a negative judgement. And since I'm fat, that judgement will one day be placed on me. My baby will think negatively because I am fat. And I hate it.

More importantly, I don't want Nicholas (and Tobin later) to be really focused on a person's outside. So, William and I are going to work on it. We'll work on not labeling people by how they look, even if we don't "mean anything" when we say it. We'll work on talking about how nice someone is, how smart someone is, how helpful someone is. And if we talk about someone's outsides, hopefully we can find another descriptor. Also? I'm going to work on the whole being-fat thing so I can be around to teach my boys for an annoyingly long time.

How do you talk about people in your family? What do you say if your child describes someone negatively? I need tips!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

I told myself, in the months and years since Mark died, that Nicholas would have some sort of memory of him. That Nicholas would have some sort of primal, basic, foundational memory of his Daddy Mark.

Nicholas was 6 weeks old when I went back to work and Mark started taking care of him full-time during the day. Nicholas was about 10 weeks old when Mark got sick and went into the hospital. Nicholas was 4 months old when Mark went into the coma that he would never come out of. Nicholas was 5 months old when Mark died.

I told myself that the time in my belly, the weeks that Nicholas and Mark had before Mark died, and all of the hours and hours of the baby and me at the hospital would make an imprint on Nicholas. It helped me feel better to think that somehow, Nicholas would still know his father in the most basic way. Now, I think I was lying to myself.

My new baby is 3 months old, and I can admit to myself that if I died today, he wouldn't remember me or know me. Hell, Nicholas is 5 years old now, and I don't know if he would have any real memories of me if I died today.

Nicholas has stories and pictures about Daddy Mark, but if I'm honest with myself, I know he doesn't have actual memories. It's up to me to keep the stories alive for Nicholas, but I am no longer telling myself that they are memories.

What do you think? Do you think there's a chance that Nicholas has some kind of primal memory of Mark? Do you think that a bond can be that strong?