The Power in the Things We Say
The power of words is an amazing thing, don’t you think? Words have the power to build people up or squash a person like a bug. Words can unite countries or begin wars. Words make friends and enemies. We remember certain things people say to us for years and years after we’ve forgotten everything else.
This is the first year that we’ve had to really coach our boys on their words. For some reason they are allll about saying words like “poop” “butt” “weener” (which isn’t even the word we have ever used, but a word they learned from a friend), “idiot” and “fart.” They totally get that we hate hearing these words at this point, but we often catch them using these words anyway, especially when they are with their friends or if it’s just the two of them in the basement and they think I can’t hear them.
I keep explaining to them that I can ALWAYS hear them. I said that today in Target, much to their dismay, and Caleb replied, “What!!! Can you even hear us in space!?”
“Yes, if it’s you doing the talking I can always hear you.” Hmmmm. Is this technically a lie? I didn’t mean it that way. I am just so tired of hearing yucky talk.
Hearing yucky language drags people down I think. Much like hearing mean things being said. Adults are not so bad about relating everything back to poop, but we adults are still bad about hurting feelings of others with our words.
It broke me the other day when Alan was checking Joshua’s homework, and I said something about making sure he checks his letters because of the way he writes his letters sometimes. I don’t remember exactly what it was I said, but it was admittedly critical. Joshua waited a minute, and then he calmly walked over to me and said, “Mommy, it really hurt my feelings when you said that about my letter writing.” OH! I felt SOOOO BAD!!! Of course, I apologized profusely.
If only the rest of the world were as good at handling hurt feelings as a mother and son, and such a wise son to tell me how he felt instead of holding it in. I loved that he did tell me how he felt.
The rest of the world isn’t like that, though. It must be handled somewhat differently. As you might imagine, this is something I deal with frequently, in my current condition. Now, I will grant you that I realize I am an interesting sight to behold right now, though I often forget until it is pointed out to me by a stranger or acquaintance. I’m a sight anyway, with my flaming red hair, walking around with three little boys, but add a giant pregnant belly onto that, and it is an open invitation for…….words.
Some of it is quite humorous, and I am admittedly laughing in my head at some of the comments, but then there are others. There are others that serve only to remind me that to the common observer I look like a whale, and why do I look so big?
Why does it bother me, though? Most of these comments come from well meaning people, who simply are amazed at how big my belly is and want to talk to me about it. There’s really nothing wrong with that.
With that said, I think the women here have been nicer to me than any women I have ever known. My friends in my neighborhood and at church have all been so kind and supportive. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me. I have never experienced so much niceness when it comes to remarks about my pregnancy! So words also have a wonderful power that I need to use more often! They have the power to encourage, inspire, and build up.
I don’t think anyone ever committed a mean act because too many people had been nice to them. Indeed the opposite is usually the case.
I need to take notes to MYSELF from all of this. Let this be a lesson to me how important it is to say kind things to others. I need to make that my goal for this year: to notice the good things about others and thank them for it! Words really can make or break your day, even if it is a silly thing. The fact is we all hate having our feelings hurt. Yet, I cannot say to the man on the street who says I must be having twins that that hurts my feelings. Wait. Maybe I could. It would be awfully funny to see their face when I said it……hmmm..
What do I say to such remarks!? I wish I knew. I’m a delayed reactor as it is, but when I hear such things I’m always so surprised that I simply say nothing and smile. Of course, I always think of dozens of things to say later on…..not really nice things though….
Here, for your reading enjoyment, are comments I have received about the way I look, just this week:
1.) lady at bounce place, where I took the kids:
“How far along are you?”
Me: (inwardly dreading her response to my answer) 6 1/2 months.
Lady: *eyes widen* Oh!
Me: ….smiling politely
Lady: You just look further along than that.
Me: smiling politely
Lady: *beginning to realize she may have hurt my feelings, I guess* “Oh, well, you’re just so tiny that it really sticks out on you.”
(actually that helps)
2. I was taking a nap when Joshua rushed into my room to wake me up b/c someone was at the door. I troop downstairs, still half asleep, and discover two packages and a man standing on the doorstep. I figured he must be the mail or UPS delivery man, and I went to work scooping up the packages, not really paying him much attention, until I began to realize he wasn’t leaving.
He said, “So how far along are you? I don’t mean to be rude. It’s just that your legs are so skinny, I figured you must be…”
Now I hadn’t really looked at him until he said this b/c I was still in my drowsy state and wasn’t thinking about him, only the boxes (Dan’s birthday present from my parents), so I looked up at him and almost laughed at this unusual comment.
“6 1/2 months” I said. Hey, at least this salesman knew how to be nice!
He started to give a spill about roofing, so I interrupted him and let him know we’re just the renters here.
“Oh,” he said, “well, then I guess your landlords probably take care of that sort of thing. So is this your second baby?”
…..Now what you don’t know is that I was wearing very minimal make-up, straightened hair, blue jeans, and a long sleeve t-shirt. I looked way too young to have to say what I had to say in response to that question…I hesitated a minute, b/c for some reason I sometimes find this to be an embarrassing answer….
“Actually, it’s my fourth, ” I said and chuckled because sure enough his mouth did unintentionally drop open…
If only Alan could have been around. He loves shocking people so much, and I really should just embrace it too. Why start trying to fit in now?
3.) This one was today, from my chiropractor, who really knows better:
I walked in for treatment, and he said, “Let me guess, it’s twins and one is a girl!” Now I go there every two weeks, so he knows good and well that I don’t like it when people comment on how huge I am–because I’ve told him that– and I am certainly not having a girl, which he knows that too. My best guess is that he thought he was funny. Sometimes I’m not sure I understand some people’s definition of funny!
4.) Also today:
Caleb: That baby is ready to come out. He’s coming out any day.
You know what’s funny? Those little boys can say whatever they want about my belly, and it doesn’t bother me at all. I tell them all the time, “Look how huge my belly is,” so really they are okay. Perhaps I should teach them to be sure to never say that about anyone else’s belly though…..
******In other news: I saw my midwife today. Believe it or not, my belly measured one week behind. (Take that, pregnancy bullies.) I took yet another glucose test, hopefully my final. (They always think I have the gestational diabetes b/c I keep giving birth to massive babies.) At my next appointment (April 24), I get to schedule my c-section, and I will even know which doctor will be performing it. Roll Tide!
blood pressure: 120/69
weight gain: total 22 pounds, but only 5 lbs since my visit 4 weeks ago, which is insanely good for me, in the third trimester! I’ve usually gained about 30 pounds by now.
baby’s heart rate: in the 150s (normal)
fundal height (uterine measurement): 26 weeks The midwife said that could just be the way the baby is lying. This has always been a much greater predictor for me though, than ultrasond estimates. The ultrasound tech always thinks my baby is average sized, but the doc always starts shaking their head around 32 weeks, and saying, “You’re measuring a few weeks ahead…” and sure enough, a baby with “macrosomia” (large body for gestational age) pops out.
I think pregnancy is so weird and interesting!
Hope you all have an interesting but happy Easter weekend, and may no one spoil your day with unkind words!