Dear Emma,

Thank you for the terrific article. Anger & I go way back, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing all the time.

The older I get the more important it is for me to be kinder to my family, my community, my city, my world & my universe. Of course it starts at home. My husband is a nice person. Therefore, it’s vital for me & our relationship that I speak & act with kindness towards him. He values that. In return he gives me the love, respect & kindness that makes our home a safe & loving place for our children.

My daughter is 20 & my son is 17 years old. I literally bite my tongue, as long as it allows it to stay in my mouth. I would rather bleed than be mean to my kids. This wasn’t always the case. There were times, when they were growing up, when I didn’t manage to do that. Times I now regret bitterly, but cannot take away.

There is a Russian saying: A spoken word is like a little bird — once out, you can never catch it again. Years of practice make that easier, but I still have to guard my tongue against speaking shit, just like I have to watch my behavior in the car. I was surprised when I first learned the term “road rage.” I assumed that they would name it “Elena’s rage.” But I learned that as long as I limit myself to cussing, in Russian & English, I’m all right. The plus side is that the children are now excellent cussers in Russian.

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Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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