Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

On Responding With Grace to Venom, Emotions, and Words

Ker-clump, ker-clump, ker-clump. The floor shakes above me – my son is running laps. It’s not exactly running, although he is fast. The movement reminds me of baby-him crawling on one knee while the other leg semi-walked. I guess it’s a type of skipping, but more musical and dinosaur-like.

Primal somehow, and so him. I think about how he does it less these days and about how I’ll miss it later. This uninhibited display of himself is a fleeting gift. I can almost see it in the windows of my memory, later, while trying to peer in. 

Ker-clump, ker-clump, ker-clump.

He ker-clumps when he’s tired or needs to work something out. When I’m upstairs with him, I barely notice it.

I notice it down here though as I write most Thursday nights. His ker-clumps chant “Write, come up, write, come up, write.” It’s like the voices on the bathroom wall, but louder and more like the sound of home. 


I need to write but abandon my chuckling keyboard to go outside and wonder about the lives around me. I imagine people coming from parties or grocery shopping. I imagine celebrations and tragedies and the conversations surrounding both.

I think about the day my husband and I drove our son home from the hospital, and wonder if one of the cars passing holds a mom and her newborn.

I think about the day we drove to Tennessee to bury my mother-in-law and wonder if another car is heading to choose a casket or to deliver bad news in person.


It’s been a couple of days since I was six cars behind an accident. The van in front of me blocked my view but I saw the fire truck pull up and block the road. I watched as the ambulance came from the other side and blocked that view too.

A police woman parked on the median, got out of her car, and signaled us to drive over the median going the other way.

I started crying. It was obviously a bad accident, and one that had happened six cars in front of me. I was relieved my son wasn’t in the car. More so that the accident wasn’t us.

Heading the other way, I thought about what’s important, and about how much our thoughts and our words are affected by emotion.

I thought about how much more easily words come when the emotions behind them are driving. While ranting about something, the words fly out of my fingers almost as if they’re coming from elsewhere. When I have A Point


Sitting on a short brick wall waiting for my brothers and cousins to finish their lap at the roller rink, I watched a girl skate towards me. I scooted to the side in case she was coming to sit.

“You’re ugly,” she said.

I wondered who she was and what I’d done. Had I bumped her or something? I was sure I hadn’t.

My brothers and cousins finished, we removed our skates and went to find our grandma. I didn’t say anything about the girl, not wanting the cousin I almost shared a birthday with to know. She’d always been cooler and more comfortable with all things social or coordinated and I was sure she’d laugh.

Later, I told my grandma about it. “Oh honey,” she said, “I’m sure she was jealous because you’re not ugly.”

“Okay,” I said.

I wanted to believe her.

That night, in a sleeping bag on the floor next to my cousin, I thought about all the things I could have said back. I wanted to hurt that girl with my words.


Tonight, I think about emotions and words and thinking of the best witty comebacks too late to use them.

I wonder what I could have said to the skank in high school who stole my boyfriend right before prom and about the boyfriend who wanted to be stolen without telling me first.

I thought about the time when a slimebucket CEO in Golden, CO told me I’d have a job in spite of upcoming layoffs, let me go the next week along with the rest of the marketing department, and then asked me if I wanted to write the company a check for $8,000 to buy out my stock options (I didn’t write the check, thank goodness, being as they declared bankruptcy like a month later and probably knew they were going to when they asked for my money).

thinking about witty comebacks

Emotions drive words both written and spoken and sometimes, we wish we could take them back.

Other times, we wish we’d had the perfect witty comment to counteract another’s venom. Emotions are important to words but sometimes, we should step away and wait for reason. I think about responding with grace to venom and about how what other people think of us isn’t any of our business. 

I think about blogging and writing and how each of us who does so does it because in some way, we have to. I wonder at those who take our words and make us into something in their minds and then are disappointed when we don’t measure up. About their anger. About our choices to absorb it or to turn away. 

I’ve recently chosen to turn away, and am glad of that although the witty comebacks continue to pop up when I least expect them. Sometimes, I wish I’d said them. Sometimes, I almost re-open the conversation and do so.

But I don’t.

I choose grace, and peace. I choose to wonder whether the car driving by is celebrating or grieving rather than dwelling on the witty comebacks I could have spit back.

Because what we choose now matters. How we treat one another. That matters most, and ultimately, it’s the only thing that really does.

***kristi rieger campbell finished post for finding ninee***

Finish the sentence Friday writing promptThis has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “When it comes to my emotions and my words…”

Write about how you write with emotion, or about how an In Real Life conversation would have gone differently had you been able to find your words during anger or happiness. Write what you’d like to, telling us about emotions and words, and how they sometimes are like Wonder Twins (some may be too young for that reference) or at other times seem separate from one another.

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  • JT Walters - If another girl tells you, you are ugly THEY ARE JEALOUS!! It happened to me once and at the rink too! I was a very good speed skater. I was a confident child athlete and I am certain the girl was jealous of me.

    I write with passion. I’d never intentionally physical or emotionally hurt anyone. My life is about loving everyone even when they don’t love us. My son is taught to live everyone too!

    I’d rather take the pain then hurt someone else. I will admit menopause made it challenging until I got some hormones!!

    You are a beautiful person Kristi with a big heart. Your intentions are far more important than your emotions. You are wonderful, friend, wife, Mother and advocate! Alex and I live U!!July 28, 2016 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I think your same comment came through twice?July 29, 2016 – 11:17 pmReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - Double comment means double the ❤️, I did not think it possible. Delete it if you’d like. But ❤️U and Tucker!! Have an awesome night and back to working on my book!July 30, 2016 – 12:23 amReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - If another girl tells you, you are ugly THEY ARE JEALOUS!! It happened to me once and at the rink too! I was a very good speed skater. I was a confident child athlete and I am certain the girl was jealous of me.

    I write with passion. I’d never intentionally physical or emotionally hurt anyone. My life is about loving everyone even when they don’t love us. My son is taught to live everyone too!

    I’d rather take the pain then hurt someone else. I will admit menopause made it challenging until I got some hormones!!

    You are a beautiful person Kristi with a big heart. Your intentions are far more important than your emotions. You are wonderful, friend, wife, Mother and advocate! Alex and I love U!July 28, 2016 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hey girl, I think you were a better athlete than I was – she sure wasn’t jealous of my skating. Probably I just looked like I was having fun (because I was) and she was having a bad day or whatever. Still, it makes me think. Same with writing because sometimes the words just flow and other times, not so much. Here’s to loving everybody and ugh to menopause. YOU are a wonderful friend, wife, mother and advocate and T and I love you and Alex!July 29, 2016 – 3:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Deborah Lovel Bryner - I think you had a LOT on your mind….love it! I’ve been in one of those BAD accidents…fortunately, it was just two cars – mine and the couple who ended up suing me. Sigh. And I’m still paying the bill (physically speaking) for that one. I like the way you put it – not always saying what you want to say, like to the girl who called you ugly. What the hell did she know, anyway? I guess I should get it in gear because I too have a lot to say…mostly to my insurance company…July 29, 2016 – 2:18 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Said perfectly and can say there totally have been times I wish I would have had the right thing to say in the moment and that is one of the things I love about writing, because even if I didn’t get to say it initially, I can always write about it if need be, as well. Guess that is just one of the many perks of indeed being a writer if nothing else.July 29, 2016 – 2:21 amReplyCancel

  • Lydia - Knowing when to stay quiet, what not to say is so often much more important than finding the right words. And your cute as a button, even if you are a weemiebitt.i m sorry but that HAD to be said.July 29, 2016 – 3:27 amReplyCancel

  • Julie Clarke - Always choose grace and peace, be the bigger person and rise above it all (and then have all the come back conversations in your head later like me lol). I think it’s about choosing battles sometimes, some you NEED to fight and win and others are not worth the time. I always think of a perfect comeback long after the event but on occaision I have been on the ball and managed to say my piece with some kind of dignity and confidence. There is always going to be someone out there that has something nasty to say, just imagine how pathetic, sad or disappointing thier lives must be if they feel the need to bring others down. I hope you found someone worthy of your wonderful and kind personality to take you to prom xxxJuly 29, 2016 – 7:25 amReplyCancel

  • Kerri - I’m not sure what inspired this post, but you always express yourself with grace and with underlying hope of leaving this world a little brighter than you found it.July 29, 2016 – 8:03 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I think a few things but thank you. Here’s to leaving the world better my friend. xoJuly 29, 2016 – 3:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Debi - It’s so hard to be at a loss for words, especially for we writers. Sometimes, though, as you said, it’s so much better to hold the words back, even if it hurts to keep our mouths shut. I sure have stories like yours. It sounds like you’ve found a formula that works.July 29, 2016 – 10:10 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I think I’ve found a formula that works.. although sometimes, it’s hard to know when to speak and when to be silent. Thanks so much.July 29, 2016 – 5:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa L Nolan - Beautifully said! The fact that you still find the time and passion to blog is an inspiration!July 29, 2016 – 3:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Ruchira - Girl, I could resonate with you on so many levels…I too draw a blank when someone is mean to me n later come up with emotions n words. Some of my friends would call me a tubelight for this since not quick to respond.

    I think responding with grace n wisdom is my idea too!!

    Cheerios KristiJuly 29, 2016 – 7:00 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Ok now I need to know what a tubelight is… never heard that expression before! But here’s to responding with grace and wisdom, when we have them!!!July 29, 2016 – 11:19 pmReplyCancel

      • Ruchira - Tube light usually flickers and then turns on thus, the comparison Kristi 😊

        While a bulb when you switch on instantly 😊July 29, 2016 – 11:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Allison - Hey momma, hope everything is okay. Sometimes turning away is taking the high road…and I believe that’s the right thing to do. And the best way to honor your beautiful words. XoxoJuly 30, 2016 – 8:47 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hey you – welcome back! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip. And yes, everything is okay… it sometimes just surprises me how very much somebody’s words stay with me even when I don’t want them to! xoxoJuly 31, 2016 – 12:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - I started to write this week, but it just didn’t happen. The words get stuck sometimes, and I’m content to read yours instead.

    I wonder if that little girl remembers saying such hurtful words. I’m not sure what makes me sadder – people knowing words are hurtful and saying them anyway, or people who have no empathy and don’t even realize it.

    Taking the high road is tough, but it’s worth it. For the other person, yes, but mostly for you.July 30, 2016 – 7:20 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to the high road, for ourselves. I am determined to write for Who I Am this week…it’s so easy for the days to get away from us though. I can’t believe it’s August tomorrow. Gah.July 31, 2016 – 12:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - It can be so hard, right? Ten times out of time, I don’t go back to re-open the conversation.
    Although with the girl calling you ugly, I’d probably have had to do something because what kind of ugliness is inside someone to do that? The kind I have never seen in us and our kids!July 31, 2016 – 10:10 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I don’t usually go back and re-open the conversation either because really, most of the time, what’s the point, you know? And who knows about that girl… most likely, it had nothing to do with me. I still remember it though..July 31, 2016 – 12:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Mo - We’ve all had those time when we are shocked into silence in the moment but later know exactly what we should have said. But I think you are right. The higher road, the more peaceful path is to let it go. Being so close to the accident must have been scary. In those circumstances, I always think, “what if I had left a minute sooner…”July 31, 2016 – 8:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Ugh I can’t stand the times when I’m at a loss for words but honestly, sometimes, I’ve been so glad I didn’t say anything I regret. Here’s to the higher road. And so true to the thoughts of “what if I’d been a minute sooner!”August 2, 2016 – 10:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Josie Two Shoes - I also often find myself thinking about other people and how their day might be. Are things going ok for them, and do they need my prayers? What we choose IS important! “Make good choices” is probably my most passionate sermon about life. The choices we make even when very young will affect our lives forever, and now that we are older and hopefully at least a little bit wiser, the choices we make need to be ones that reflect that wisdom, walk away with grace, don’t return hate with hate. I need to keep working on that. Great post!!August 6, 2016 – 12:32 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I do that too… they probably need our prayers, for sure. It’s hard, though, when they leash out at us, with such venom to remember that. Here’s to working on it, because I wonder every day how much it was already wrong with this one situation, and know it’s more about not me and my life than it is you know?August 10, 2016 – 11:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Love your thoughts about responding with grace to venom. It used to be really hard to do, but these days I feel a lot of it is just not worth it. Maybe it’s age or learning that a lot of times no good comes of it. Plus the “venom” from someone else is more about their insecurities usually. I’m with you… choosing grace and peace! 😉August 10, 2016 – 10:11 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - The Venom from others.. OMG it’s so about them, but it feels like it’s about us, right? Love that you came to comment here. Thank you.August 10, 2016 – 11:28 pmReplyCancel

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