The Gift of Silence

July 11, 2010

My dear Dad took this photo of me over 20 years ago.  He was a dignified man who dressed well and I am absolutely certain he looked through the viewfinder that evening and thought Good God, my daughter looks like a two-bit whore.  True to his nature he probably came over and kissed me on the cheek and wished me a good time that evening.

Somewhere in my mid-20s I realized I had never caught my Dad in a lie.  I’m sure he did in his lifetime – I’m certain we all have.  But I conjured years of memories and couldn’t find one.  And when I realized this, I instantly knew how he accomplished it.  He kept his mouth shut.  And on the evening he took this photo, he probably did not say, “You look nice.”

My Dad was that way about a lot of things.  He was a man of strong convictions and strong opinions.  But when it came to us kids, he kept his mouth shut unless he felt it absolutely necessary.

He had faith in me that I’d find my way about things big and small.  That gift helped me learn to follow my gut and have faith in my own judgment.  Now that I have my own kids, I am working hard to do the same for them.  To be sure, I have a long way to go.


4 Responses to “The Gift of Silence”

  1. theresa dougan said

    very cool! i love it! i’ve always thought having a blog would be cool, but don’t really know how it works. you’ll have to explaine it to me.

  2. That’s a tough lesson to learn, but a good one: Just keep your mouth shut. Sometimes it’s too easy to be overly honest.

    Best to you, Sally.

    – Corra

    The Victorian Heroine

    • sallysmart said

      Thanks, Corra. I’m a huge fan of honesty. It’s just a bit different from adult to child in my view. Honesty is key, but quiet leaves more room for the other person to think.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Lucky Vardaman said

    Strong willed, intelligent, quick…dry wit!
    Sally, that is an astute observation. Ive never considered that exact point until now, and though his brother was a very gregarious man, i cannot recall one overtly outright… for the time i set a pine tree on fire, and was told everything will be alright. Alright until i got home and got my rear end blistered….lol

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