Something that he was supposed to learn as a child? So, then, once again he had Drevain to thank for the problems in his life. Or perhaps it was his own fault for not trying to learn them, himself. …Or maybe it was a little bit of both of their faults. Yeah, that sounded better than just blaming himself. But most of the blame was on Drevain, of course. Nevertheless, it was something he needed to learn now because he had not learnt it then. He knew that patience was not his strong suit, and it never had been, but perhaps that would change, as well, with Thurvayn’s help. How much could be learned, and how much could be changed? And how much of it was just.. him? Perhaps this was why he insisted on being so prideful—admitting how many faults he had was rather depressing.
When Thurvayn’s wife began speaking, Dalamus turned to acknowledge her. There it was again, someone telling him to listen to people. “E’hla probably would have slapped me,” he mumbled. Avrusa seemed to have more patience than her, at times. “E’hla does not always listen to me when I try to explain myself. She views my past as excuses. Perhaps.. I phrase it wrong, or something, but when I tell her these things it is my way of asking for help. But she shoves it away and tells me to grow up, and that her patience is wearing thin. Or, at least she usually does. Until I stopped insisting my point, and just listened to her. Then she thanked me and offered me help. So.. I suppose I was wrong, all the times before. I do not like being wrong. But I will admit it.” His voice was quiet, as though he only wanted Thurvayn and Avrusa to hear it. “It is.. difficult for me to understand another’s view. It requires time, and I am not patient, so I often decide to disregard it because it is easier, I suppose.”
It was when Avrusa mentioned his wife and daughter that he shifted uneasily in his seat, awaiting a solid scolding. That was not exactly what came, but he did not enjoy being compared to Thurvayn. He knew that Thurvayn was many things that he was not. What Dalamus heard was ‘Thurvayn is better than you, and this is why,’ and he struggled to not take offense, but he listened. Why was he always the one that needed to change? Why was everything always his fault? He hated it. He hated it so much. “If I remove myself… If I cannot protect them, then who will?”
And then she spoke of how he was their adopted son, and he swallowed, finally averting his gaze from her eyes and into the tea in front of him. Gods, he wanted to hide. Parents meant expectations, responsibilities, and those were frightening. But he did enjoy the warmth with which they spoke to him. It was much preferred from the yelling and arguing he had been getting recently.
" ‘Protecting’ does not always mean ‘keeping safe’—physical protection does not always ‘keep one safe’ the way that avoidance can. But, they can physically protect themselves, Dalamus… Just as I do, and our children do, when Thurvayn is not here. You must be willing to trust your family, just as they trust you. But also remember that others are willing to understand your opinions—"
"If you are not insisting they are the only correct opinion… If I were to insist the sky is green and the grass blue, you would think I am insane for insisting it, correct? It would be my opinion, but not the popular one,” Thurvayn interjected.
Ava gave him a light slap on the arm for interrupting her—the older mer merely gave a soft giggle. “Yes. But also if you are willing to return the favor and attempt to understand their views. Dear, I didnt want to upset you with my words,” she said, watching him even though he had averted his eyes. “But the reason I used Thurvayn as an example is because I know you look up to him. Do not think of it as ‘he is better than me’, but of ‘I can be as good as him—one day’. Remember that he is your age, plus four more of your ages. He has had the time to learn, and has apparently suffered many of the battles you are facing now.”
"Dalamus, I dont want you to make the mistakes I have. Several that should have broken my spirits by now. That is why I —we," Thurvayn spoke, turning a smile toward his wife, "want to teach you this before you have to learn it the hard way, like I did. But. You must also remember that I learned many lessons that majorly changed me for the better—but also were things that were very tough for me to break. Do you think I enjoyed having to give up that lifestyle? No more than you did when you got married, Dal. Ohh yes, I remember that…~ But look how that one major change turned out for so much better… Dont think of it as you are a bad person, or that you are wrong—think of it as though you have a bad habit, something that Drevain taught you wrong."