Five Minute Friday {nothing}

Recently, someone I know was going through a heart-breaking situation. The kind of loss I have not experienced. I wanted to say something, but I was too afraid. Why was I afraid? Because the internet has inundated us with lists of how everything we say hurts someone’s feelings. I actually looked up some articles to make sure what I was going to say to this person wouldn’t be accidentally hurtful. I talked to a dear friend who had been through the same situation. I looked up a few more articles. And then I just wrote what was in my heart and hoped that it came across the way it was supposed to…because I am tired of all the lists. 

Top 10 or 15 or 21 Things You Should’t Say to Someone Who is Single/Stays At Home/Has an Only Child/Adopting/Married/Works Outside the Home/Adopted/Has A Big Family/Infertile/Has Battled Cancer/Has Miscarried…and the dreaded Raising a Kid with Special Needs.

I often read the list that is supposed to represent me and I cringe. Some points can be valid, but most completely miss my heart. According to these lists, I am a ticking time bomb of emotion about to decapitate everyone around me as I grieve every missed milestone and secretly hate you and your healthy children. You think I am exaggerating, just google it. My biggest fear is that people will stop talking to me. Because the internet has scared them away with list upon list. I don’t want my friends, or even strangers, thinking that I am judging every word that passes through their lips. That is how we make ourselves unapproachable. All in the name of education, we stop people from becoming educated. Just think about how many times you have wanted to say something, but you remembered reading your question in an article entitled, “Twenty-Three Things You Should Never Say to a Parent with a Non-Verbal Toddler”…bloggers are churning this stuff out and real conversations are being killed in the wake. So, I am making my own list. I am obviously an extrovert,  because my list is called:

Things I Want You to Say to Me and I Promise Not to Hurt You if I Am Hurt By Anything You Say

Long title, I know…

1. “How are you?” Whether I am having a super day or a horrible day, I appreciate that you care. Please ask. I can decide whether or not I am going to answer honestly or give you a summed up or unicorn version of that day’s reality.

2. “How is Adelaide?” Again, ask away. I am not going to start bawling {well, I can’t make any promises} and love talking about her accomplishments.

3. “What is Adelaide’s diagnosis?” According to the internet, you are not supposed to ask this. It’s a freakishly long answer, which I am willing to share if you buy me a Sonic drink. My hairdresser just asked me this question. The world didn’t fall apart. I enjoyed teaching her about two rare diseases/symptoms/whatever-the-heck-Adelaide-has.

4. “When will she be able to fill-in-the-blank?” We don’t always know, but I love that you are interested in her. I don’t consider it a back-handed comment about her abilities or lack thereof.

5. “How can I help you?” I won’t actually answer this, because I have serious issues with inconveniencing people, but I don’t read into this that you think I am incompetent.

6. “How did this happen?” I don’t think you are accusing me of shooting up heroine during my pregnancy. We can have a lengthy chat, but there isn’t a clear answer on this one either.

7. “Are you planning on having more kids?” I enjoy talking about children, pregnancy, babies, and almost everything related to little people. I won’t hear you say this and assume that you think I cannot parent a fourth.

8. “I am praying for you.” Thank you. I covet that.

So, there are the Top Eight Things You Should Say To This Parent of a Child With Several Disabilities. But please add others. The only thing I can’t handle is when you say nothing. Unless you need the silence. Because I read on a list called Top Six Things You Shouldn’t Say To An Introvert that you may need a bit of time to process…

Time’s Up…

Five Minute Friday

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Be generous and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. That’s the best part about this community.

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3 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday {nothing}

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Great read! Thank you!

    Like

  2. Kelly says:

    Hi! Just visiting from FMF! I loved your post! I too don’t say so many things because I am afraid people will take the words the wrong way or think I’m judging etc etc. I loved your list, your heart and your honesty. Thank you for your words.

    Like

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