Posts Tagged ‘conversations’

The Aftermath of a Movie

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012


My family usually doesn’t go to the movies unless it’s the dollar movies. Well, the last movie we saw as a family was “Brave.” It’s a cartoon about a woman who liked to shoot arrows and ride horses. She was rebellious against her parents because she didn’t want an arranged marriage, so much so that she accidentally turned her mother into a bear. The mother nearly died several times in the movie, and it was the daughter’s fault.

When the mother was lying (apparently) lifeless on the ground, my 7-year-old daughter burst into tears, turned to me in the dark theater, and said she was sorry. She apparently identified with the main character so much that she thought her rebellion had killed me, and she was sorry. Of course, the mother ended up not being dead after all, and they lived happily ever after.

When we walked out of the theater and into the bright sunshine, my family had a conversation about teenagers. My 12-year-old son said, “She was so rebellious toward her parents.” I explained to him that when he becomes a teenager, he will be overly emotional, and he will think that we as parents are against him. “Why would I think that?” he asked. “Hormones,” I replied.

All four of my children insisted that they would never be that rebellious. I said, “But it was legitimate that the girl in the movie shouldn’t have to marry a man she didn’t love. It seems like the parents weren’t listening to her. And that is how you will feel as teenagers. You will feel that we as parents don’t listen to you. But you need to understand that your dad and I will always listen to you. We can change our mind based on what you say. We are responsible before God for the decisions that we make for you. Because we have more life experience, we usually see things more clearly than you do. We want you to have the best life possible, and we will always try to do the right thing. But we sometimes make mistakes because we’re not perfect. All we can do is the best that we can.”

My kids said that they knew that we would always try to do the right thing and they trusted us. They insisted that they would never go through teenage rebellion. I said, “Just wait… When the time comes, remember this conversation.”

An Awkward Conversation

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

an-awkward-conversationMy husband pulled away from the house, ten minutes late in taking our son to karate. (I watch the other three kids and make dinner while he takes one son to karate twice a week.) Resuming my conversation with my sister, which was about some deep spiritual issue, she stopped and commented on how sweet I had been to my husband.

I thought, “What on earth?” The conversation I had with my husband was awkward. But she thought it was sweet. I tried to remember what I said.

I had been on the phone with my sister for an hour and a half, and the call waiting had clicked on twice. I held it away from my face to see that it was an 800 number, meaning that it was a telemarketer. I didn’t bother to check it the second time, since I usually ignore it anyway.

I figured that if it had been my husband, he could have called my cell phone. I glanced down and saw my cell phone on the table beside my bed where I was sitting.

I made sure my son was dressed for karate with shoes on ten minutes previously because I realized my husband was late. When I heard the garage door opening, I stood at the top of the stairs. I knew that my husband was leaving immediately, so I didn’t want to hang up with my sister. I felt bad that I wasn’t giving my husband my full attention, so before he came through the door, I said to my sister, “Hang on,” and I lowered the phone from my face, holding it low enough that he wouldn’t see it, giving him the illusion that he had my undivided attention.

Okay, so here was the awkward conversation:

“I tried to call you,” said my husband, “but no one answered the phone.”

“I’m on the phone with my sister,” I said, slightly blushing, showing him the phone I was hiding. “I heard the call waiting, but it was an 800 number. Well, it clicked on twice, and I ignored it the second time. I figured if it was you, you could have called my cell phone.”

“Why would I call your cell phone? You never have it with you. Every time I’m at home and I call your cell phone, I hear it ringing in the other room.” He was smiling when he said this.

“I’m sorry…” I said, laughing, making a mental note to take my cell phone with me to Zumba, even though it could easily get stolen on the floor at the side of the gym with 150 women. I widened my eyes to remind him he was late. Yes, my eyes were shooing him out the door. This is why I felt the conversation was awkward.

My sister said, “Any other woman would have yelled at her husband, that he could have called her cell phone.” Apparently the tone that I used with my husband was sweet.

I’m still puzzled about it, but I guess the tone we use with our husbands matters in our interactions with them. Even in awkward situations, if our tone is kind, the other person is amused instead of angry…