Love knocks…

by Rod Smith

Now 11

Now 11

On the first two or three days Thulani was home from the hospital I got separate visits from two real Christian women.

“I want you to know I don’t support your decision to adopt a baby,” said the one.

“Don’t you think we should find him a real family? There’s still time,” said the other.

In their defense, which I was blind to at that point, I should have recognized their legitimate concerns. It’s not that I’d demonstrated an overly nurturing persona, nor had there been any suggestion that I was looking to adopt (because I wasn’t). But the visits were invasive. I was not appealing to either of these women for help, permission, or guidance – and neither was, at best, more than an acquaintance.

It makes me think of the woman I ran into somewhere and much later (I really do forget where and when) who suddenly burst out, quite vehemently, having picked up pieces of our story: “You might have had these boys as babies all by yourself, but let me tell you this, you have never breast fed a baby and you’ll never know that joy.”

Before I could affirm her observation she was gone.

3 Comments to “Love knocks…”

  1. Personally I have a few stock phrases ready for just such occassions:

    1. If you think the person’s words have no merit (very rare) – “thanks for your input”.
    2. If you think the person’s words have little merit (rare) – “thanks for your input, I’ll think about that”.
    3. If you think the person’s words are inappropriately timed but may have merit (more often) – [interrupting] “you appear to have a lot of energy around this subject but this is not the appropriate time to discuss it. Please feel free to contact me later when we can discuss it privately/without the children present/without my parents present/when I’m not at work/just before bedtime”.
    4. If you think the person’s reaction is inappropriately expressed but may have merit (most frequent) – [interrupting] “you appear to have a lot of energy around this subject so maybe we can find some time later to discuss it, but I will not be shouted down/shouted at/threatened so I am going to leave/ask you to leave. Please feel free to contact me later when we can discuss it”.

    With practice all can be said with a genuine smile in a gentle voice under any circumstances. If there is one reason to ‘like’ it when people give inappropriate advise it is that they help us practice remaining calm under adverse circumstances.

    Thanks for illustrating the lesson ”I can not control your behavior, but I can control my own”.

  2. if theres joy to be had in blocked ducts, bleeding nipples and then fresh sharp teeth on said only just recovered nipples well sure, Rod, you will never know that joy. and i say you didn’t MISS NOTHING. =)

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