When Love is Silence
- October 06, 2020
- Ned Erickson
I have been learning about love lately. My daughter, who is like the Rubix Cube of people, is constantly teaching me. Her style is a combination of telling me all the things I’m doing wrong and smacking me. It’s not always effective.
The problem is I don’t know when to keep my mouth shut. That’s been the lesson lately. My daughter has been trying to teach me that car rides are best undertaken in silence. This is a hard pill for me to swallow because I love talking in the car.
One time during college I went on a road trip with a friend, and we talked fifteen hours straight. You heard me. Fifteen hours with no breaks. I actually have conversations for a living. People pay me to have conversations with them. My daughter would pay me to shut up.
She would. If she had any money.
I don’t get it. I am actually pretty talented at making car rides fun. I explained this to her once. I described to her how we could have a dance party each morning. We could have our very own carpool karaoke if she’d let us. She smacked me.
I was talking about this with another friend of mine. She is one of the people that pay me to have conversations with them. She told me that she did the same thing to her mom when she was in middle school. She helped me see that it was more about what was going on inside of her than the fact that she had no interest in hearing what was going on inside of me.
So I have been silent lately. It is so hard I tell you. But that is what love requires sometimes. I use the time to pray for her and the rest of the family. One day I might get permission to talk again. When I do, I hope that I use it to ask questions, to listen and find out more about her – this beautiful, complicated, fascinating young woman who is my daughter.