Oh, to be able to keep quiet

Have you wished you could keep quiet in a situation which does warrant you/ make you itch to offer your take ? Are there times when you know things will work out on their own without your interference ? Surely there are are moments in your life, when you know this is what is to be done and offer advice, only to find it was not taken or that people did what they planned to do anyway? Let me give a few examples from my life:

  1. Daughter 2, who is home with me now, preparing for her college exams, told me her Physics teacher is leaving tomorrow for his native country. Without his coaching during these last few days before her exam will turn her preparation upside down, for she hadn’t factored in, his leaving in the middle of the year. She has to come up with plan B, which she hasn’t. She shared her concern with me Thursday( two days back). My first reaction was to plan on calling the teacher and asking, no begging him to postpone his going back for a month or so, until daughter was better prepared for said exam( her exams are scheduled for the first week of May). Deep down, I knew I shouldn’t get involved- I would only bungle things up. So I held on, with great difficulty. I had to bite my tongue( that is, hold my fingers back from typing a Whatsapp message to the teacher). I held back till today morning, when in a very soft manner, sent him a message, asking him if he was leaving and he replies- Ma’am I am still here and I will be here still. What a relief ! But imagine if I had called him up and asked him about his plans and the drama that would have unfolded. Thank God I held on against my better feelings. See, things do work out in the end.Whatsapp
  2. Daughter 1, who is home at another coaching place, called me up this morning telling me she came down to the common mess to find another girl eating from her plate. The plate in question is kept on the mess counter with her name marked on it, so it is only for her use. Apparently, the girl in question took the plate and served herself breakfast on it and when daughter 1 reached the mess, the girl was already eating on the plate. Let me add that my daughter is a vegetarian and cannot ever eat on a plate where meat or fish has been eaten. It is an obsession with her. So when she saw this happen in front of her eyes, she questioned the girl. The girl replied that since her name was not written on it, she ate on the plate. The audacity ! The cheek ! Daughter 1 called me, sobbing and crying aloud. She is 24. Girl cryingShe was offended. I was actually amused by the whole episode but made sympathetic noises at the proper times to show daughter 1 that I was empathetic but she had to deal with the issue herself. I was amazed at how I had changed over the years. A younger me would have taken the phone, called up the hostel and make a ruckus over someone hurting my daughters’ feelings. Today, I didn’t do anything of the  sort. I maintained a silence and did not share this with my husband or my other daughter who can easily raise up the drama quotient by rising up in arms. It turns out this was the best way. A few hours later, when I checked on daughter 1, she seemed to be busy putting in her application to a new college and forgotten the episode. I was left back in time, while she advanced to the next event in her life.         I am upset

 

I can write many tales of this sort from my life about when it was wiser and less-adrenaline secreting for all concerned when I didn’t open my mouth. I thought of Jesus drawing on the ground with a stick when people were accusing the woman brought in adultery to him and maintaining a dignified silence. There is dignity in silence. You can empathize with a person even through silence.  If fewer words are spoken, lesser, unproductive emotions come out and life becomes a lot easier because after all things turn out the way they were destined to turn out, in the end.

29 thoughts on “Oh, to be able to keep quiet

    1. Dear Cupcake,
      They are grown girls and they don’t want me to fight their battles for them but my mother’s heart and tongue often try to get the better out of me. I am learning and learning each day. And no, I am not offended. I like “politically “in”correct people – a lot.
      Thanks for your sincere comment. I like that you took the time to write in, with your honest opinion.
      Susie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand. I remember my mom in my 20’s when I lived and struggled in Manhattan. Together, we could right the wrongs and change the changes a life moved so fast and was different from the one she remembered. I have a grown stepdaughter who will share sometimes her travails but not the stepson but they are grown and on their own now with children.

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      2. Dear Cupcake,
        Life is full of changes and while I embrace change and seem to thrive with change, my daughters seem old-fashioned in that they prefer the status quo. They want things their way or they get frustrated. It gives me some relief to put my thoughts in words and hence the blog post. When I read a post later, months or years later, I wonder what I was going through to write that post. But these posts are like pages in a journal with my life in history.
        Thanks for sharing your story about your mum and you. The mother daughter relationship is so special.
        Susie

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh Susie…you have written so much wisdom here! Every word is truth and I have had to learn these same things through the years also.
    I love how you pointed that Jesus used silence. I had never thought about that.
    “There is dignity in silence. You can empathize with a person even through silence. If fewer words are spoken, lesser, unproductive emotions come out and life becomes a lot easier because after all things turn out the way they were destined to turn out, in the end.” Going to be rereading this one a few times!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a relatable post! Sometimes I share things with my family because I want them to get upset with me and totally take my side. Other times, I just need to get something off my chest and let it go.

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    1. And it is for the listeners to choose if they want to open their mouths and contribute or to just keep quiet and be a listener. From hard experience I learnt that most people don’t want our opinions- they just want a patient ear. But a mother’s mouth cannot be shut- she wants to barge in- either with her comments or with her criticisms.:)
      Susie

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dearest Susie, you and I have something in common here.
    Trying to be quiet and not take up the sword and shield to fight the fight on behalf of our daughters is something I can very much relate to. Very much.

    I’m trying all the time to remember that at this stage of their lives, I’m now a kind of sounding board where they can get their upsets and annoyances out of their heads, and that way they can shake them off.
    I do find it difficult not to either offer advice or take up the fight myself – but I’m getting there. And I love how things turn out after I’ve bit my tongue and allowed these girls – no,… women… to deal with those things of which they speak.

    Thank you for this post. It’s so very reassuring to know that I’m not alone, and that I’m not weird either!
    Sending much love ~ Cobs. xxx

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    1. Dear Cobs,
      Mothers are the same everywhere I guess- especially mothers of girls.
      And if I have to write about my husband and when I have to bite my tongue to “protect” him from the world- one blog post wouldn’t be enough. And it would be embarrassing too ! Very few would understand a wife’s need to protect her husband from the big, bad world.
      Susie

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Words that come out of our mouth cannot go back- easier to bite one’s tongue and keep quiet, rather than regret.
      Did you make hot cross buns today ?
      Happy Palm Sunday, Ma’am.
      Susie

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  4. bethanyk says:

    Such great great lessons. I JUST today asked my daughter ” do you want me to message her for you” in other words do you want me to get involved and get all mother bear for you.
    Oh to be the quiet mama! But like you said it really does pay off and there is just a time to listen and console and be quiet!

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  5. Holding my tongue, and thinking before I speak, does not come easily to me. But I’m trying. Our kids are 28 and 30, “grown and flown” … and I still need to zip my lips sometimes…

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    1. Oh we mothers ! We need classes on when and where to talk. Sometimes kids tell us( often when they are younger), that we don’t jump in like other parents do or take their side or take the opposite side.
      Things change as they grow older and get more competent.
      Susie

      Liked by 1 person

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