Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When Kindness Hurts

For the past couple of weeks I've had three young adults in the house, two of my own and one visitor from Belgium. Mine include a son and a daughter, the third feels like she is my daughter. They range in age from 18 to 21. (Don't forget I have a four year old as well). Last week there were two break-ups in 24 hours. My two were the dumpees. A coincidence that left me exhausted because of course these estrangements occurred at 3:00 am., and I don't think my snoring would have been interpreted as very comforting while I tried to be as consoling as one can be at that hour of the morning.

Many cups of coffee later, as I pondered the pain and heartache of young love, it struck me that despite two very different manners of dumping, the outcome was the same - sorrow. The first dump arrived by email and was followed up by a bankrupting long-distance phone call. The second was personal, gentle, respectful and even kind.

Then 24 hours later, both dumpees were reunited with their respective boyfriend/girlfriend. Before I had even caught up on any sleep, the tears and the sobs had been replaced by the incessant and familiar clicking of texting keys.

It made me pause though and think about how sometimes even kindness hurts.

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