Rookie Mom – Say Something

WORDS – JESS BASSON

I have big feet. Like, size eight big feet. I seldom paint my toenails bright colours because there is just so much surface area. On a normal woman, pink toenails look sweet and summery. On me, it looks like I spilt paint on my feet. This, however, is not my primary problem. My main defect is how often I put my large foot in my even larger mouth. I’ll say something I’m not supposed to, or blurt out what everyone is thinking but has the good sense to keep quiet. I’ve spent many a dinner party getting kicked under the table by my husband who is basically telling me to STOP TALKING.

Knowing what to say and when to say it is quite the art, I am learning. I recently had a lesson in this life skill, but not in the way you may think. Last weekend, I went to a baby shower. I know. You already feel sorry for me, but this one wasn’t that bad. Anyway, I sat next to one of the few women there who did not have children. This isn’t by choice, and she has had some heart-breaking miscarriages. Despite risking putting one of my Big Feet into my notoriously Big Mouth, I decided to go with my gut instinct and I asked her, “How are these things for you?”
She told me that she only went to baby showers of people she really loved, as they were hard mornings. But then, she turned to me with big eyes, and said, “You know, Jess, you are the first person who has ever asked me how I feel at baby showers. Thank you!”

A few days later, I had almost the exact conversation when I dropped my son off at play school. His teacher’s son tragically died a few weeks ago, and she shared with me how her daughter’s closest friends have just shut her out. As I looked at the hurt and disappointment in this teacher’s eyes, I remembered the same look from my friend. It just hit me. Say Something.

When someone you know has lost a loved one, or faces an exceptionally overwhelming situation, say Something.
Please don’t pretend like you don’t know. Just say Something. Even if it’s, “I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t know what to else to say.”

Send a message, cook a meal, pop in for a visit. They’ve already lost something, now they lose a friendship or a connection that brings joy and love into their lives? Grief is a lonely experience, and if you don’t know what it feels like, don’t pretend like you do. But for goodness sake, don’t ignore them. I’ve heard Foot in Mouth Disease is highly contagious. And perhaps, like me, you won’t always get the timing right or the exact words when you open your mouth to say Something. But, honestly, I think that in most cases, Something is better than Nothing. So say Something.

Counselling and Support If you or someone you know someone who needs support and counseling, and please
visit www.gracecounselling.co.za. This is an open-access resource to aid all forms of counselling from church based, volunteer driven counsellors to professionals in the private sector. From support groups for things such as addictions, grief or parenting to support courses aiding healing like Divorce Care, or GriefShare.

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