Out of my mouth comes a simple statement… spoken in response to my spawn’s frustration over trigonometry.
She has been dog-sitting for me while i was at the kink event… i arrive home and cook veggie chili for us. i sit across the table from her and she spills out a rant about her feelings of stupidity… her inability to comprehend the function of her calculator… her self-doubt about passing the class, even. She talks in rapid fire and then ends with a comment about the “user error” message she is receiving.
i catch her eye and without a thought… but with all the feeling and momma-love i possess… i say:
“Remember that when they say user error, you are the user… you aren’t the error.”
There it is. i sit back and i roll that around in my brain. The spawn hears it, sighs, takes a spoonful of food, and returns to her work. Ah, but i? i am blown away by my own wisdom in that moment and i wonder… why do i continue to accept human frailties in others with love and compassion… and yet… remain judgmental of my own? i am getting better, though.
i am not we aren’t failures. i am not we aren’t errors. i am not we aren’t – for the most part – acting out of malice or even with forethought.
In early childhood development, i learned the importance of considering whether a child’s behavior is mis-behavior or mistaken-behavior.
i we would do well to remember that lesson when faced with our own puzzling (and sometimes unfortunate) behaviors. i am we are humans… flawed but not failed.