On Friday (6/22–I’m a little behind), I encouraged you by telling you that I think you’re going to do a great job buying and selling stuff on Craigslist. I really do think that. You’re going to do a great job and you’re going to enjoy it.
Day 268: Encouraging WordsJuly 2, 2012
Day 208: Foot in MouthApril 27, 2012
Lately, it seems that I’ve been demanding and overly harsh with you. And from this you’ve taken it that I think you’re not doing much well. To counteract this, I decided to figure out something that you excel in, and then praise you for it. Your love for others immediately came to my mind. In this, you definitely excel—our girls are growing up in a home filled with love thanks to you and our neighbors and friends have experienced your love as well.
When I told you I was thinking about things you excel in, the first question you asked was, “How many did you think of?” I wasn’t sure what to say, because once your love for others came to mind, I stopped trying to come up with stuff. I should’ve explained that I only tried to come up with one thing and that you excel in a lot of things. Instead, I answered in one of the worst ways: “At least one.” It struck me at first as a clever answer that might get me out of a fix, since saying that I thought of at least one thing is consistent with thinking of 100 things. But as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I was in trouble. You interpreted my answer as you should have: as “Only one,” and took it to imply that “You only excel at one thing.” Sadly, this implication had the opposite effect than what I intended for the act of love; that is, it served to confirm your suspicion that I think you don’t do much well. Sheesh. You were gracious, though, and simply rolled your eyes and gave me a hug.
When I actually told you what I came up with, you appreciated my answer.