Joanna: Human After All
There's something that I should do, meant to do, have to do. There's something that I want to do, and that's to say... I'm sorry! I apologize for the other day when I took apart one of your Kinex so I could play and build. They are yours (not mine) and just because I'm big or I think I know what should be done - doesn't give me the right and I'm sorry! Maybe we can talk about it sometime! LOVE.
I'm sorry I lost my temper yesterday in the car. When one person starts yelling it's hard to not yell back. It's hard - but it's important to try anyway. Just because it's hard doesn't mean you can't do it - it's just harder that's all. Anyway, I'm sorry and I'll try not to let it happen again. It would be easier to not yell back though if you didn't yell at me in the first place! Maybe you could try harder and see if you can't think of a nicer way to express yourself too! I think we all would be happier! It was fun watching the Super Bowl with you, mom and Theo last night. Even if the Cowboys won! Have fun today!
I'm sorry for being a little down lately. Finishing a big job always brings on a little let down and the holidays were so crazy (most of it "crazy good") and I'm just sorry for not being more fun to be around. Some of that mood is bound to rub off on you and Theo. It's not really the way I want to start the next century. Let's find a new way of being together! Let's try to find a new way of understanding each other. OK?
Our lives together have ups and downs. Days when everything seems "right" and beautiful - days when it's all wrong. Sometimes it's just moments of rightness or wrongness. I can be in a bad mood and not even realize it - saying things in a not nice way and not being able to help it. Understanding later on what I was feeling and doing. Does that ever happen to you? Probably so - you are human after all. I'm sure it happens to all of us. Communication is the key! It's the answer. It's what helps us get through. Talk to me. Help me. And I'll help you. Because I love you.
I want to apologize to you for losing my cool on Friday night. It was an inappropriate action on my part - undeserved by you. Please forgive me Joanna. I can make excuses for myself but there really are none that are viable. Love. Respect. Those are all words that describe feelings of relationship that are shared by two or more people. We don't "love" or "respect" in a vacuum - we need another, a reciprocator, someone who shows, responds, inspires, nurtures. I'm a man - a human being - and I happen to be your father. I'm not always right. I'm not always appropriate. But I always want to be. I always try to be. I sometimes fail. I'm sorry for that. I love you more than my words could ever express. I want for you more than your share. I pray for you every day.
This is our first correspondence since our shouting match on Sunday. I don't know why I joined in that discussion. I was unable to stay out of it and I should have. All these things going on - work, school, buying and selling homes - it's all stressful for all of us and makes the fuses really short. It's easy for a discussion to turn into an argument. But as a grownup I have no excuse for letting that happen and I apologize for raising my voice the way I did. I'll try my best to not let that happen again. I want you to grow up considerate and thoughtful, loving and patient, making the most of your talents and gifts, appreciative of the help you received and helpful to others who need it in return. Do you think that's too much to hope for? In many ways I see some of these things in you and I'm trying to do my best to nurture them. Times like Sunday I fail. Hopefully I succeed much more often.
I don't think that any of us is blessed with the ability to hear what we sound like to others. Communication and relationships happen in the space between people - with each person carrying a unique understanding of that communication away with them. What I sound like to Mom when she says I'm criticizing her and I don't think I am - What you sound like when you talk to Theo and I think you sound critical or bossy and you don't think you are - I have to understand that, just like me sometimes - you can't hear it in your words or tone of voice. Maybe we all need to try and talk with each other instead of at each other. I'll try harder!
Stress Frustration & Anger. These emotions can smother love. As strong as that love may be it's light can be blocked by those three terrible forces. Are you to blame? No! Remember how I told you that art exists as a relationship between a work and a viewer? Well love exists in relationship between two people in much the same way. Are mom and I bringing so much stress, frustration and anger to the table that you respond with the same and the love is blacked out? That could definitely be the case. We'll try and do better Joanna. Try and let the love take center stage. The other crap is entrenched and not going away though we may want it to. See the love!
Sometimes we open our mouth when we should have kept silent. Oftentimes we leave a friend waiting for words we never say. Sometimes a situation cries out for action yet we fail to see and act. Other times we run off half-cocked and promptly fall on our faces. Some mistakes we notice, we regret, while other ones we remain blissfully unaware. It's always better to see, understand and learn. Forgive yourself and move on. I love you so much!
We all do things that we regret. We've all done things we're ashamed to admit. We've all been justifiably embarrassed and wrongfully humiliated. We've all had to ask for forgiveness. We all have the opportunity to grant forgiveness in return. Do we forgive ourselves our regrets, shame and embarrassment? Do we forgive them in others? Do we love ourselves and thereby open up the possibility of love for others? Do we recognize and celebrate our own uniqueness and happily share ourselves with the world? They're all good ones. They're all tough ones.
Life is hard sometimes. I know that. I know I'm doing the best I can to balance my work and my desires with the needs and wants of my family. Sometimes it seems like I can do it all and sometimes it feels like I can't get any of it to work out. Right now is one of those later times. I know it's a hard time for you too. All of us have to understand that we each have too much on our plate and not be quick to judge or yell or storm away in anger. That hurts.
Everyone who touches us makes an impact. Think of the friends and teachers who have shaped your life so far. Think of the passing glance of a stranger that made you stop and think, change your mind, or drop a coin in a cup. Being a parent means walking a line, balancing too much rope with not enough rope, balancing freedom to have your own experiences with fear for your safety and innocence. Remember these standards that you hold us to should the day come when you find yourself a mother or a teacher or a coach. You have so many gifts Joanna that I'm sure you'll do a good job at whatever you do. Just don't let your anger get in the way and let some of that creative talent you have locked up inside out once in a while will ya?