By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Sudie Crouch: Weigh your words wisely before speaking
Brett Jordan, Unsplash

I’ve long known that our words had power and we needed to be careful of what we say.

It definitely doesn’t mean I’m perfect — far from it, in fact. 

But it does mean that I’ve tried to consider the way my words may land when I say them and how those words may be received. 

Sudie Crouch
I do this in my work life constantly. 

Knowing that the way our words are received can largely be based on the receiver’s perception can make us aware of those sayings and phrases that may not mean the same to everyone. 

I may not know a person’s background when I’m talking to them, so I have to make sure what I say may not be offensive or taken in a way I did not intend. 

I’m careful about what I say, but still, I stumble. And, when I stumble, I mean I go tumbling. 

Especially in those moments where I carelessly say something and don’t realize who may hear it.

Like I did one day when I commented on how Doodle liked to get in the crate and pull the door closed to give herself a break from Mia. 

The pittie-mix has been an amazing mother to the German shepherd puppy, thinking Mia is indeed her own. But Doodle has also always been a bit selfish when it comes to her rest and how she likes to ease into her day. 

Unlike the herd dogs, Doodle is not one who starts the day with gusto, preferring to take a quick jaunt outside and then sleeping a bit longer. 

Mia does not understand why her mama doesn’t want to play or at the very least cuddle and will paw at Doodle, begging her to come out of the crate. 

Doodle refuses and nestles down in her cushion a bit deeper to let Mia know she’s not going anywhere. 

“I don’t blame you, Boo,” I said one morning. “You just need a break from Mia. It’s totally understandable.” 

I didn’t think anything of it. 

We had joked about how Doodle thinks she is truly Mia’s mom and how at the same time she adores her but she also doesn’t know what to do with a wild puppy that likes to roll around on her all the time. 

I surely didn’t think my own child would take it in a negative light. 

“Did you feel that way about me?” he asked. 

I stopped in my tracks. 

I had never, not ever, felt that way about my child. 

Not once did I ever feel like I needed a break from him and I gladly took him everywhere with me. 

He’s grown up going to work with me, from talking to clients about advertising, to sitting on the sidelines covering sports, to going to a salon, and hanging out with graduate students at a university. 

If Cole wasn’t able to go, then I didn’t want to stick around too long. 

I enjoyed having him with me and that was my preferred place for him to be. I sure didn’t feel like I needed a break from him. 

“No, I didn’t,” I answered. 

“Then why did you say that?”

He wasn’t judging my statement so much as he was just asking why I would feel that way. 

And maybe there was a tiny part of him that wondered, too, which made me question if I had ever made him feel like I didn’t want the presence of his company.

“I said it because Mia does get on Doodle’s nerves at times. Doodle loves Mia but we can’t even mess with her sleep.”

He nodded. “So I didn’t get on your nerves?”

“No, you didn’t. You never did and never will.”

He didn’t seem like he believed me, but I was telling the truth. 

I had no idea that such a flippant comment may be interpreted in that way, but it did make me realize that even though my son is practically grown in so many ways, he’s still my child. 

Children still need to have that reassurance at times, no matter their age. 

And people, in general, need to know they matter, they’re loved, and most importantly, that they belong. 

We say dozens and dozens of things each and every day, without thinking that the words we say may be slowly tearing at someone’s spirit or hurting them in ways we may not see. 

We say things without thinking, not knowing how those words land can make someone feel like it’s a judgment on them.

It may just be mere words, but the weight they carry sure can be heavy at times.

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.