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October 05, 2003

Brutal Honesty

It has been a long time since I have posted out here. Not because of neglect... I have been extremely busy with work and have been out of town for the last week. I am going out of town again next week. Hopefully, my travel scheduled will start to slow down here in the near future. Both Misty and Noah have been less than enthusiastic with my traveling.

Something about children that allows them to offer honest, biting commentary about what is going on around them. They don't mean for what they say to be painful, but it can often be painful to a parent that is already feeling guilty.

I can remember a time in my life when my words cut my father very deeply. I was about 9 years old and my family had just found out that my grandfather had passed away. My father was in the Navy and we never lived close to the rest of the family. I know that the death of his father was very hard on him, but I don't think anything prepared him for my comments on the subject. We were living in Virginia at the time and we were in the process of getting ready to head back to the midwest to go to the funeral. At one point, I looked at my father and said that it was his fault that I never got to know his father. There was no malice behind the words, just a simple statement, but now I know that those words cut deep.

I have not experienced that type of guilt and I hope that I never do. I do get it in small doses, though. Tonight, while I was getting ready to go on my trip, Noah asked me what I was doing. I explained that I was going to go on a trip again this week and that he would see me again on Friday. At that point, he just said OK and went back to playing. Later, after I was done reading him his bedtime story, he and I started talking. He looked at me with his big blue eyes and told me that he didn't want me to go. That, in-and-of-itself was enough to break my heart, but it didn't stop there. He then went on to tell me that he was going to miss me and that he loved me. I like the fact that he knows that, but I hate it as well.

Then he told me that he would kill all of the spiders and roley-poleys for Mommy while I was gone. Even when you are feeling guilty, you have to smile at some things.

"Guilt is anger directed at ourselves - at what we did or did not do." -Peter McWilliams, Life 101