Thank you for all your comments on my Friday post, Swimming Lesson. Some of them broke my heart even more than it already was over this incident.
You may have noticed that I have now removed that post, without publishing the comments. While I could not get the incident out of my head, and had written it in part to try to do that, I still felt a bit uncomfortable posting it. And after it was out in the world, I felt very uncomfortable.
Why? That's what I kept asking my conscience, because it was that little whippersnapper that was making me uncomfortable.
The incident on its own was truthfully recorded.
But there is more to the story, as there is to most stories. The following is the context that I should have included, but did not, in an effort to make my point succinctly, and also, to be frank, because I was tired and had no other post prepared.
Although I don't see this neighbour interacting with his children often, due to work schedules and so on, I have seen enough that this incident surprised me. I have never before had any qualms about his, or his wife's, parenting. They seem like good, caring, patient parents.
I think -- and hope -- this was an isolated incident. It bothered me nonetheless. It made me think of all the other children who live this on a more frequent basis in every area of their upbringing.
It also reminded me of the times I was less than the parent I wanted to be. Times that I was tired, overwhelmed with responsibility, and pretty much at the end of my rope.
While I did not agree with my neighbour's actions, I understood them.
Not many of us are perfect. Many of us have spoken in anger, in disappointment, in hurt, in frustration, or due to lack of knowledge about how to handle a situation. Many of us have acted wrongly for the same reasons.
I believe that posting this story without full context, whatever my reasons were, was not the right thing to do. I have hesitated over posts many times, and usually made what I feel was the right choice and withheld them, choosing instead to write something light-hearted and inoffensive. My standard is generally the question, Would I say this directly to the person involved? If not, I should not write about it in a manner that is essentially behind his or her back, no matter what the lesson is.
I believe it's what we do most of the time that makes us who we are. And I believe that when we fail, we have to keep trying to do better.
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Because I feel that the pressure to post was one of the factors in posting when I should not have, I've decided to change my posting schedule. I will still post a poem on Poetry Monday, but other posts will be when the spirit moves me. I've been feeling pretty washed out this summer, and am finding it hard to come up with something of interest (hey, what do you mean "you noticed"? ha ha) and am hoping this switch may bring better decisions and better posts.
Skeptical Cat is skeptical about Donkey's plan. But then, Skeptical Cat is skeptical about everything.