Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Didn't MEAN It.

"I didn't mean it!"

When I think back on my two-decades of,  not so glorious, parenting. I can think of countless times I heard the classic "I didn't mean it!" rebuttal to my scolding a  rug rat for the mistreatment of a fellow rug rat...

{It was the day we brought Alex (or maybe it was Dallyn) home from the hospital....

My Visiting Teachers had stopped by to meet the new baby, we were chatting in the living room, watching my other kids play in the yard, out the window...

I watch in slow motion as five year old Holly raises a snow shovel, high above her head and precedes to whack 3 year old Madison over the head with it...

I race outside to a screaming Madison and a cowering Holly..."I didn't mean it Mommy, I didn't mean it!" the usually obedient Holly says crying. Madison although still whaling was not injured, thanks to her Kramer hard head and the wholly toque that was on it.

" I didn't mean it!"

Oh I am 100% positive that Holly meant it....What Holly didn't anticipate was that whacking Madison would cause the whaling and screaming the entire neighborhood enjoyed....she was barely five so the whole cause and effect thing was still tumbling around her synapses. But I'm guessing it quickly stuck, cause she never took out a sibling with a snow shovel again :) }

But I still hear "I didn't mean it" but lately its been grown ups saying it. Ok so I don't know any adults (personally anyway) who go around whacking others with snow shovels. But I do know adults who can, especially with words and opinions, be insensitive, thoughtless, careless, assuming, uneducated, rude even....

But when the fact that their words or actions caused sadness, turmoil, pain to another...we often hear a "oh, I didn't  mean it (that way)" or in defense of another's careless words or actions..."oh, they surely  didn't mean it!" 

What is actually being said is "I (They) didn't realize my (their) words were insensitive, thoughtless, careless, harmful, opinionated"  and " I didn't or don't understand or accept that my words are harmful to you."

"I didn't mean it", is not a free pass or an instant antiseptic that cures all harm done.

Pain is pain.

An "I'm sorry" , without an excuse is a starting point... listening to understand another's loss, pain, sickness, family situation, heartache, does help . For,when we truly understand each other, we don't hurt one another. And sometimes, realizing if we just can't understand something, it's really okay to keep our opinions to ourselves.

So...Please for the sake of snow shovels, be kind, thoughtful, unassuming, and careful or QUIET.

1 comment:

  1. well said Robin I have been on both ends of that