Apologizing is a modern plague, and I'd be willing to bet (though I have zero scientific research to back this up) that many women utter "I'm sorry" more on a given day than "Thank you" and "You're welcome" combined. I am a woman who is sometimes right, sometimes wrong but somehow always sorry.
In all seriousness, hearing my son repeat me -- seeing myself reflected in him and his foul, remorseful mouth -- made me think about what I'm communicating and what I'm not when I constantly say, "I'm sorry."
I have been keeping mental note of how often I utter these meaningless apologies, and it's pitiful.
In all of my studies surrounding parenting, there is one reoccurring variable that continues to support healthy child-parent relationships, and that is making the effort to genuinely connect with kids.
For me, and many other women, apologizing, whether it's warranted or not, has become a constant, chronic state of mind. Saying "I'm sorry" so often gives power away. It's prostrating, docile, negating.
It dawned on me, on this Tuesday, that we're both still growing up. That we never stop growing up, not really, whether we're 7, 11, 36, 39, or any number before, in between, or after.
I have noticed how often I -- and my female friends -- apologize for things that are out of our control. This, of course, is different than saying, "I am sorry for being late," or "I'm sorry I picked a fight last night because I was really hungry and you were taking forever to figure out our plans."
I'm always going to be scared; of failure, of disappointment, of not being good enough. But I'm done pretending that I won't feel pain if I'm careful enough, or that I can prevent the pain of others by just wishing hard enough. Saying I'm sorry is a verbal tightrope act, and it's one that I'm done performing.
Existing in a space is not a privilege -- it is a right. Treat it as such, and have the courage to stop apologizing for it.