Home > What my boys teach me about God > I have the right to remain silent: my weakeness!

I have the right to remain silent: my weakeness!

From the moment my four year old son wakes up till he gives in to crashing sleep, he is talking.   Talking, talking, talking.  And he’s asking questions.  Not “yes or no” questions; intricate questions that involve thought.   He doesn’t accept my “guess-imate” answers.  He wants precision.

Here’s some examples of the questions I get on a regular basis:

  • how old will I be when Chris is 89 years old?  (repeat question with a different age.  Please note, these types of questions involve math that cannot be figured out on my fingers….)
  • what time is it?   (answer: 2:30)   Then why does the clock say 228?
  • what time is it?  (answer: 2:28)  What comes after that? (repeat 10x)
  • how old will I be when I die?  (answer: I don’t know)    THAT’S NOT AN ANSWER!  (repeat until I give him an age)

– (in the van)  How long will it take to get there?  (10 min)  Long or short?  (short)   How long is 10 min?  (count to 60, 10x)   1, 2, 3, 4…… (ahhhhhh!!!!)

There’s more, but you get the picture.  Can I just say that I live with a constant headache?   My artistic brain doesn’t like numbers.   I have a hard time thinking about all I need to think about AND give the kind of answers this boy needs.

If I dare say, “Ben, I really can’t answer anymore questions right now” his feelings are so hurt.   So I resort to this answer in times I’ve tuned him out; “I don’t know….”  (which is more often than I’d like).  He’s gonna think his momma’s an idiot if I keep this up!! (haha)

I started reflecting on how annoying this is and WHERE on earth he gets this from.  Well, the precision/perfectionism is most certainly a daddy-trait (which is also worn by my mother!  Help  me!  I’m surrounded!!)   But the constant nattering?…… well, it was a humbling moment when I realized where that comes from.  If I’ve ever talked your ear off I just want to apologize and give you the pleasure of knowing that “what goes around, comes around” is being paid forward in full!

In seriousness, I have been hearing this sentence going through my head the last few weeks.

Too many words cannot be heard

I’m guilty for saying in length what could be said in less than half time.  I’ve been making effort to think about how to say things in less words.

I’ve also been hearing God whisper gently into my ear as of late: “You have the right to remain silent”.

“You have the right to remain silent….. what you lack is the capacity” (Shrek to Donkey in Shrek 2).   Oh Donkey, you and I both.

There is wisdom to know when to speak and when to keep the mouth shut.   To know that an answer doesn’t always have to be given.  To allow time to filter thoughts.  To not overwhelm people with too many ideas…..

It’s painful for me to shut up.  I am a verbal processor, and I drive my dear husband nuts sometimes.  When he’s had enough, I phone my friends (poor girls).

“I try to control my tongue.  But if you only knew how much I wanted to say and didn’t!….” (Anne of Green Gables).

Silence isn’t weak.  Silence doesn’t allow “reaction”.   Silence speaks louder than run on sentences.  A few words  of wisdom  spoken in season sink in more than hours of debate.

Hmmm… maybe on that note, it’s time to practice and end today’s blog…..

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