My mouth gets me into trouble sometimes when I say stupid things to friends, family, coworkers. I mentally beat myself for days over the comments that I just can’t take back. Tonight, Sugar got the brunt of it. I won’t try to excuse my behavior, I just suck sometimes. As I was putting her to bed I lectured her about all the things she does wrong. Really, why would I do that? I knew I was doing wrong, but I couldn’t stop the words from coming out of my mouth.
I didn’t call her stupid or lazy or anything abusive like that. I did rant at her about not using her time wisely in the morning when it’s time to get ready, nagging at me incessantly, whining, complaining, etc, etc. To listen to me tonight, you’d think that kid can’t do anything right.
I came downstairs feeling like total shit. What kid needs to hear that as she’s going to sleep in her room, her bed, her comfort zone? While I sat here thinking about how much I suck as a mother, I remembered one time when she was in first grade and we had a really rough morning. As a matter of fact, she was crying when she got on the bus. Seeing that puny little kid getting on the bus in tears devastated me. I was still upset when I got to work. I couldn’t call her to apologize, so I did the next best thing. I was on really good terms with her teacher, so I sent her a little note and attached a letter to the email for Sugar. I used a super-big font and little words, she was just learning to read after all. The letter just said that I was sorry for the bad morning and that I loved her and wished her a great day. I thought it was nice when the teacher emailed me back and said, “You are a great mom.” But I thought it was totally fantastic when I picked Sugar up and she told me how much she loved the note and NO ONE EVER gets a note on the TEACHER’S computer.
So that’s what I did tonight. I wrote Sugar a letter. I told her I felt bad about telling her about all the things she does wrong then I wrote a list of things that she does right. Some of the items mention her help around the house, others talk of the impact of her sunshiny personality on others. I taped it to her sock drawer so she’ll see it first thing in the morning.
I stink at apologies. My “I’m sorry” sounds fake to my ears and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because my mother was never one to apologize either? I’ve always found it easier to write “I’m sorry.” I guess I feel like the person that is owed the apology can read my note over and over again if they choose to. I hope the power of the written word lasts longer than the meanness of my rant echoing in her mind.
Writing that letter tonight reminded me that I really wanted to start a journal with both my girls. Spice obviously is not old enough yet, but I think it’s time to do this with Sugar. I’ll get us a cool notebook and we can write back and forth to each other about our days, our dreams, our fears. She’s getting close to going through a lot of physical changes and I’m sure she’s going to have thoughts and questions that might embarrass her. Maybe it’ll be easier for her to write things to me? We’ll try it and see what happens.