formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Friday, January 23, 2009

Humble Pie... Tastes Like Chicken

I am not one of those ‘do as I say, not as I do’ parents. Well, I try not to be. I’m usually not. I really do believe in living by example.

But sometimes I fail.

And when I do, it usually hits me like a brick.

Last night Ryan and I were discussing the issues she’s been having with her cousin (again). After going over the whole ‘she said/she said’ thing, I reminded my beautiful, bossy, stubborn-as-hell child that you get what you give in this life. If you give good, you’ll get good back. I reiterated The Golden Rule and pointed out that she hasn’t been treating her cousin the way she’d like to be treated herself.

As the words were leaving my mouth, I was suddenly struck by the fact that I haven't been living by example. At all. I haven’t spoken to my brother or sister-in-law in nearly three months. Ryan knows this. I’ve justified my behavior and hidden behind the fact that the falling out wasn’t my fault; that it was my brother who accused me of things I didn’t do; he didn’t care about the truth; he said horrible things to me; I was the one maligned and hurt; I have every right to be angry and absolutely nothing to apologize for.

But when I was telling Ryan she has to try to get along better with her cousin, I realized that none of my justifications matter. I failed my child – and myself – because I couldn’t move past my own anger and resentment. And I felt like crap.

So last night and this morning I fought an epic battle in my head and my heart. What I wanted to do (stay angry and hurt and silent), was kicking the ass out of what I should do (swallow my pride and extend the proverbial olive branch; set the right example for my daughter; try to make peace in my family for Ryan, my niece, my mother, and my other brother and sister-in-law, who are all suffering).

Though she doesn’t always, the better person in me won this time. So before I started work this morning, I wrote a letter (I trust my pen more than my mouth when I have something important to say). I explained why I was breaking the silence; I addressed the most important issues between us; I apologized for my part in the whole situation; I asked that we put it behind us. And then I mailed it. It’s only going 12 miles, so they ought to get it tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.

When I picked Ryan up this afternoon, I took her out for ice cream. As we enjoyed our Frosties, I apologized to her. I told her I had set a bad example and I’d been wrong to expect her to do something I wasn’t willing to do myself. She said she had realized it and was bothered by it all, but she hadn’t felt comfortable pointing it out to me. That was a kick in the teeth, let me tell you, and I made her promise that if she ever felt that way again, she would tell me.

So, I ate a serving of Humble Pie today. A big serving. It tasted like chicken. Chicken Cordon Bleu. Have I mentioned that I hate Chicken Cordon Bleu? I do. But I don’t think it ever killed anyone.

It hasn’t ever killed anyone… has it?

31 comments:

Lee said...

You did well. A little less baggage to carry.

The reply will be interesting.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

I tried humble pie once. It tasted like crap.

But the aftertaste...that was sweeter.

Heather, aka Jake's Mommy said...

Ryan is a lucky gal to have such a wise momma! :-)

Now you will update us when the reply comes right?! :-P I kid, I kid.

Braja said...

Yeah, it killed someone: the chicken.

Mel said...

even prouder of you tonight than I was this morning, buddyroo!

Coachdad said...

Wow...good job. Not easy to do what you did.

Maithri said...

You're too too cool my friend...

Im so moved that you ate chicken cordon bleu for your daughter..

If that aint love.... then Bush aint missing the white house,

Much love, M

Blu said...

I guess if they found a bone in it they might have choked and died. I hate falling out and I can imagine how bad you felt falling out with your brother. I hope it all works out well, life is to short.

Henry the Dog said...

Mum says that Humble Pie is an acquired taste. She often eats it these days. She agrees with Blu, life is too short.

HLiza said...

Oh what a big thing you did..it's not easy to do what you did; O don't know if I can..but my kids doesn't know I hate my bro..we never show it. In front of the whole family, we still talk especially when the kids are around. Ryan will be a wise lady one day..she will get it from you.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Diane - And after the Troll come the Tears!

You did a good thing, you did the right thing, no matter what reply comes back in return.

That is such a wonderful lesson both to learn from and to teach Ryan - Come and get an award from my blog today, once I actually get around to writing it - Have a fab weekend, friend x

Protege said...

The best with having children is that they bring out the best in us.
I admire your courage to do what is right and not what is easy.
Eventually that sets us free on it own.;)
Wonderful post and wonderful writing, as always.

mo.stoneskin said...

Chicken's alright, expecially Mexican style, maybe I'll buy a humble pie on the way home.

sherri said...

I now suffer from acid reflux from all of the humble pie I've eaten over the years, but I'll tell you this, regardless of the response from your family, your heart is freed. Now so much room for better things to come!

Your child sees your courage and humbleness in action , a lesson she'll NEVER forget.

I'm curious to hear about how she will handle her little problem after watching you handle yours.

You are a great Mom, and a Great person.

(This made me cry-I'm such a baby)

Shanna said...

Awesome post - great message. Good for you! This is the kind of parent I hope I am and, at the same time, aspire to be.

Sometimes Sophia said...

There's a great story about Gandhi that goes somthing like this:

A mother came to Gandhi with her young son and said, "I want you to tell him not to eat sugar."

Gandi thought about it briefly and told the woman to come back in two weeks.

Two weeks later the woman returned with the boy and Gandhi looked at the lad and said, "You should not eat sugar." The woman looked at Gandhi, exasperated, and said, "You could have said that two weeks ago!"

To which Gandhi replied, "No. I could not tell your son to stop eating sugar until I had stopped eating it myself."

You are a good person, Diane, and a fabulous mom.

Ronda's Rants said...

Diane...I am crying...How amazing are you? I am so glad you did this...What a wondeful example you gace your daughter!
Brother will behave however...but he may surprise you! But...the lesson for Ryan will last forever!

Heinous said...

You're a better person than I am. After I determine a person isn't worth the effort, that's pretty much it for me.

Shala said...

It is great that you and your daughter can be so honest with each other. You sound like a great mother.

namaste said...

Good job, there's no point to holding on to all that junk anyway. It's very hard though, so I give you "big props" Momma! Oh, I hate chicken cordon bleu also. Just choke it down and move on.
;)

Sam_I_am said...

I hadn't talked to my uncle since I was 7. My aunt told me at my dad's funeral that he asked her if she thought I'd speak to him. She said that I probably would. He felt bad that he had let so many years pass without speaking to my dad or me. It's still hard sometimes. I still remember how hurt I was when he told me he didn't like my dad and then stopped speaking to me when I got mad. It's not an easy road, but it's a road that's there. I just didn;t know it, because I built a barrier that I now have to work on tearing down.

blognut said...

I'm proud of you, Lady. I hope this goes well. I need to make a reservation for a huge humble pie dinner, but I need about 40 more therapy sessions before I can get to it.

swenglishexpat said...

Diane, you did the right thing, ....again.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

you get the kick ass mom award, for sure.

It takes a big person to realize what you did. Kudos to you.

Now I want a frosty...

Michelle said...

I've tasted humble pie many times!!! Except for this last time in my life where i will spit the humble pie out!!! For now!! I don't hold grudges.

Wonderful post Diane!!! You know i realized that every single time i come to read your blog i learn a lesson. Good life lessons!!!

Thank you for that!!!

Now i am hobbling away searching for pie!!!

M

Jane! said...

Crap! I thought being a hypocrite was one of the privileges of parenthood. I might as well put them up for adoption right now because I would get mighty fat on all that pie.
YOU are a much better person than I.... who doesn't talk to my brother.

Anonymous said...

Diane, step-mom here, I'm very glad that you've taken the first step in trying to make up with your brother. I'm wishing you all the best -

Heather's M

Heather said...

I KNOW I commented on this earlier today... I guess not. I don't see it?? I'll try again...
I think what you did is very admirable. I know how hard it is to be the bigger person, but your daughter will learn from your wonderful example. I'm proud of you. :)
Your desire to raise Ryan the right way is truly something to look up to. I couldn't ask for a better big sister!!

Heatherlyn said...

Do your in-laws realize we here in the blogosphere are dying to know if they are as mature as you are?

Life presents us with so many difficult choices. It's neat that you had an opportunity to talk about this with your daughter. I hope that it goes well for you.

Pauline said...

I read about an interesting concept the other day. It was in reference to "not leading but going first," as in I'll go first and say I'm sorry. I'll go first and clear the path, I'll go first and extend my hand, etc. It's the same thing you did, and it's positive more than negative, more "I'll set the good example," than "Let me eat humble pie."

Good for you.

gwenlyn said...

You write beautifully and you parent beautiflly too. I have found that humility is one of the greatest gifts we give our children. It mends our hearts.

Thanks, Diane!