My reply? "Or maybe I just like to talk a lot!"
Confession: Mine is probably closer to the truth.
But sometimes I'm quiet. Or to be more accurate, I talk about the things that don't matter so much while staying silent about what's really on my heart.
When I do lay it all on the table -
the challenges of scheduling multiple therapy and specialist appointments every week, the uncertainty of knowing what Zoe's future looks like, the concerns about racial tensions in our country as the white mother of children of color, the difficulty supporting two second graders with drastically different educational foundations such that homework times can feel hellacious, our medicine regimen of 2-4 daily inhaler or nebulizer treatments and twelve pills a day between all of us and one injection a week and 4-5 physical/occupational/speech therapy sessions a week outside of school, my meal planning for a large family, and so on- the reply is usually some variation of "I could never do that" or "I can't imagine."
But if it were your kid, you could. You would.
And the look on your face usually tells me that you did just imagine what that might be like but you're afraid of offending me with what your imagination showed.
I wouldn't mind all of that, except that after the "I could never..." or "I can't imagine," the conversation usually ends. A long pause or a quick excuse tells me my truth was a little too truthy for you. Friendships are hard enough to come by in the midst of mothering a gaggle of kiddos with varying needs. At the risk of sounding pitiful, here's another truth: I need you. And maybe you need me too. We were created for community, after all.
We can't be truth tellers if we're afraid of the truth, if we're afraid to admit that, maybe, you just don't want my struggles or you're glad they aren't yours but that you love me and are glad to know what my reality is and are willing to listen any time I want to talk. (And that's okay, because I don't really want your struggles either, if I'm telling the truth.)
I like to talk. I do. But lately I've been convicted of my laziness with words at times. I don't think anyone who has ever said "I could never..." or "I can't imagine..." is intentionally lying - I know I wasn't meaning to when I used to say them - but a lazy lie lacks truth all the same.
Let's be truth tellers, y'all. Part of that is giving others permission to tell their truths, even the uncomfortable and hard and messy ones.
|speaking of mess, here's a little of mine. i snapped the pic because i was struck at how beautiful my mess looked in the late afternoon light. isn't that just how it is, though? all our brokenness has beauty in the right Light.|