In the past 12 years of my relationship with Stone, one thing we’ve managed to avoid almost completely is drama. We both prefer letting the small things slide, and being direct and straight up about the big or accumulated things. We don’t play games, don’t do passive-aggression, and don’t create mixed messages. We don’t always agree and sometimes we annoy each other but we then give each other some space and we talk later. This is because we are on each other’s side and are allies through thick and thin. We recognise that we are learning to be better people together, that neither of us is perfect though both are trying their best, and that life should be kept as simple as possible. Our relationship is like an oasis in a world where simple, straight up happens far too infrequently.
When I encounter drama, my first response is the straight-up one. That only works if the other person is invested in being direct and moving on too. Otherwise, I sidestep, knowing a lot of energy will be expended unnecessarily. Doing so also requires acceptance that things to be said or tensions to be resolved may remain, and, well, that’s just life. If Zi wants the remote (of course, with all the toys she has, she’d want the remote) and it gets taken away, she sometimes starts to fuss and kick up. If she wants to be picked up and I’m getting ready for work, more fuss potential. If she doesn’t want any more food, the fuss could extend to getting bits of food in her eyes and hair, and swept to the floor. All this is part of babies learning to identify what they want, learning to communicate as well as manipulate, and learning the emotional tiers that humans respond to. Yet, now that Zi is beginning to express herself, she is going to have to learn that Stone and I don’t throw tantrums and, neither can she. We take into adult relationships what we learn as babies.
Instead, I dream that Zi develops the confidence, emotional clarity and honesty to not mix her words and to say, rather than carry, what is on her mind, especially when it concerns her desires, feelings, hurts, apologies, wants and needs. I dream that she doesn’t ever have to read between the lines in her relationships, and interpret clearly spelled out actions in lieu of unsaid words, the combination of the two being the way that people speak loudly without taking responsibility for their voice. I dream that her family, love, friend and work relationships are as simple and straight up as possible, knowing that her brain and heart are better focused on achieving her dreams. I dream that she knows that lasting love is possible without stress, second-guessing and inner dialogue. And in those moments when these things don’t come true, I dream that she will know how to focus, let go, be careful and move on. All Stone and I can do together is help her to learn what makes relationships of all kinds happy, productive, simple and lasting. Trust us, it’s no drama, Zi.