Yesterday Mr 18 made a mistake. Yesterday Mr 18 said “I’m sorry”. Those two words annoyed me so much. Angrily I said* to him “your words mean nothing, I need to see actions!”. (*screamed, shrieked, yelled like a wild banshee). He got upset and said (rather loudly) “would you rather I sit here and say nothing?” At the time I told him the words “I’m sorry” are overused and overrated and I wanted him to start taking responsibility and stop saying hollow “sorry’s”.
Today, pondering the events of yesterday morning I got to thinking about the phrase “I’m sorry” and why it annoyed me so much. I have come to the conclusion that “I’m sorry” along with “I love you” are the most overused and under meant words in the english language. They are probably said more often than not without their true meaning being felt at that moment. They are used as peace offerings, a way to smooth things over. Sometimes they come out with very little thought. I’m guilty of it. Are you?
Yet, on the flip side, if those words aren’t said when I think they should be it’s even worse. Had he sat in the car and said nothing, I would have gone postal. Ok, I did already go postal, but it would have been a more postal type of postal. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. Poor kid. It was a no win situation for him. He will not be missing the bus again any time soon. A mother suffering PMS going postal in the car with nowhere for him to hide is not fun for anyone. Anytime.
Mr 16 and the man I love are the exact opposite. They aren’t over users of “I’m sorry”. They will only say it when they mean it. Even if they should be sorry, they won’t say it until they actually feel sorry. Often this happens some time later. At the time this makes me sad and very angry. Whilst I don’t want them to say hollow empty words, I do want them to say “I’m sorry” when I want to hear it. Unreasonable? Possibly.
I’ve been accused of saying “I’m sorry” and not meaning it. I have said it just to stop the argument. I’ve said “I’m sorry” many times through gritted teeth, all the while seething knowing I hadn’t done anything that warranted an “I’m sorry”. I say it so we can move on. I don’t want to fight any longer. I wish Mr 16 and the man I love would do that too. Or do I?
When I truly think about this, I’m not sure that I do. When they both tell me they are sorry, I know they have had time to think about what they have done or said and they truly are sorry. It means so much more than a hollow “I’m sorry”. Unfortunately for them, because I am such a “pleaser”, I say sorry because I think that’s what they want to hear. It turns out it is not. Poor Mr 18 is just like me.
When Mr 18 came home from work with a strawberry Freddo Frog (my favourite) and an “I’m sorry mum”, I know he means it this time. I know he’s thought about it and I know he’s a good boy. Like me he does say “I’m sorry” without really meaning it, but I also know, like me, he will go away and think about it and come back later with the heartfelt version.
I may not be a “by the book” mum, but I know I’ve taught my boys how to feel, how to love and how to grow emotionally. In part II of “I’m sorry”, I have some really special things to share about how I taught my boys to really understand sorry.
How do you feel about the words “I’m sorry”? Am I the only one who feels this way?