Wednesday, May 18, 2011


My GG is this sensitive and sweet girl. Ambiance in the house has been awkward at best, and it's obvious that Mom's in a funk place, and she's an over-compensator. Is volunteering to help with dishes, her brother's homework, cooking. It's sweet. Really. I so need her help, any help, and I love *love* that she gets the emotional climate here and wants to alleviate it.

She's been giving me extra hugs. So please do not judge me here, because I know that some people, when emotional, want to be held and snuggled and loved. I am not those people. When I'm emotional I Do. Not. Want. To. Be. Touched. Just please, leave me alone and let me think and deal in my way. Give me some space. When I'm ready, I'll come around. And it's been difficult because I know that she's coming from this beautiful place when she puts her arms around me, and it makes me sad that I get it and at the same time resent the pressure it puts on me to hug her back.

So we had a conversation. I explained to her that I know she loves me and is acting in a loving way, but the best way you can show a person you care for them is to ask them what they need and how they need it and then give that to them the way they said. So for instance, I told her I appreciated how she was helping around the house, but needed her to ask about the hugs first. Because it was her impulse to give, but my impulse to put my hands in the air and cringe and that wasn't working for either of us.

And I thought we were on the same page until the next time she saw me freaking out and moved in for the hug. She didn't get it. I'm not blaming her; she's a kid and she's learning and I'm not so self-centered that I don't understand that lessons need more than one conversation to be absorbed. So we had the conversation again. And it's fine, I'll have it a million times with her if I need to. Because it's important. Give people what they need in the way they need it.

I could stand to learn it myself.

I'm a preacher who doesn't practice, and I apologize.

Listening to: Jeremy Enigk "World Waits" because it's the greatest album ever made.



  1. I am so with you on this. I am not a physical touch person, it's not what comforts me and it's not how I perceive love. It's hard when you're with someone, either a partner or friend or family member that assumes hugs make everyone feel better.

    I will hand you a virtual glass of Boulevard beer instead. The best Kansas City has to offer. Hard lessons are too often avoided, grinned through while gritting the teeth. You're a good mom.

  2. I appreciate your beer. I probably shouldn't be drinking it, but oh well.

    The thing is, I'm not a good mom. And I'll argue that I'm not a good person either. But I'm a mom and person in progress and I hope, one day, all these hard lessons will result in me being something worthwhile.

  3. And maybe I'll have taught my children something in the meantime.

  4. I'm a toucher. Wait. That sounds wrong. No it doesn't.

    You're not a good mom, you're a great mom. I will hug this here couch so you understand what I mean.

  5. I thought this was Patrick's blog? That's what his profile says. This is weird, and now I feel awkward.

    I was going to say: Patrick, I've seen your comments around forever, but I can't believe I've never been to your blog. Now it seems this is katebakes' blog, which is hard for me to figure.

    Oh well, hi to all of you.

  6. Patrick, You make my day better. Consistently. I'm high-fiving you next time I see you. Which will be at your house and in your pool in about an hour. Cool?

    Matthew, Thanks for stopping by. Even if you didn't mean to, which I don't understand, but whatever. Also, I like your Yoda.

  7. I'm pretty sure this isn't my blog, Matt. It seems you are just hacking into my website viewing history. That's probably not a good thing. Don't go where I was four links back.

    Then again, I sort of like the idea of setting my profile to random websites. My blog is rather boring and pointless.

    Kate - cool!

  8. I've been given some shit about this post today.