Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Letting them know

It wasn't my most shining moment as a mother, but then I have those every now and again and it's worth talking about. It's worth the humility that comes from admitting when you're wrong, it's worth bearing all and the accountability that comes with doing just that, and it's worth acknowledging my wrongdoing so I can hopefully do better next time.

On the surface the misunderstanding between Allie and I wasn't some great, earth-shattering event, it was just that, a misunderstanding but one that left her feeling sad, dejected and wronged in a big way. To me it may not have seemed like a big deal, but to her it was. I had hurt her feelings without intending to (who really ever intends to hurt another's feelings?) and quickly realized just how deeply I'd offended her.

And that's right when I said I was sorry, over and over, scooped her up and hugged and rocked and rubbed her back and explained what I'd really meant and acknowledged her feelings and said I was sorry again. It's one of the greatest tools we have as people, I think, the apology. It breaks down walls, it levels the playing field, it humbles, it warms and embraces and brings closer.

Even though I'm a parent I'm not above the apology. I know full well that I'm not always right, in fact, I'm seldom right and welcome the opinions of others, especially my children. They are so worth it.

But what amazes me most are these two things: that children know instinctively true right from true wrong, good from bad, and that they will forgive more freely than any adult I've ever known. I felt her forgiveness as I held her in my arms, I heard her breathing ease, I felt her body relax and that electric warmth that traveled from her heart to mine. They heal me, these children of mine, they really, really do.

1 comment:

puffthemagicrabbit said...

They are so true, and so easy. You're right about how they forgive- and how important it is to let them know there are moments when we should ask their forgiveness- that's a very important lesson for them to own up if they've accidentally hurt someone. And they forgive us long before we've forgiven ourselves...