Sunday, February 28, 2010
Oh, To Be Like A Child!
I recognized the sound right off; it was one of those cries that meant pain.
Curly ran to me, sobbing, and grabbed my leg in a hug.
I knelt down to embrace her and, rubbing her back, asked, "What happened, love?"
When she was finally able to control her breathing enough to speak, she simply said, "Hubba hurted me."
"Hurt you where?" I asked, but she didn't answer.
I pointed to the typical hurt places while asking repeatedly, "Does it hurt here?"
Finally, Curly stopped me and said, "Not on my outside. He hurted me in my heart."
The worst, most painful kind of hurt. Hurt feelings, broken hearts, mental anguish. Hurt brought on by words and actions.
Hubba slowly approached from the other room, looking at Curly and I with apprehension. He went to his little sister, and while wrapping his arms around her, said, "I'm sorry, Curly. I didn't mean to hurt your fee-o-lings."
And then she brought a happy ache to my own heart as she wiped her tears away and uttered these words as she hugged him back, "It's okay. I already forgived-ed you, Hubba."
Already. Before he had even told her he was sorry, Curly had forgiven him.
I recognized that I was being taught something.
Earlier this morning Coolister and I were arguing. I felt that he was being disrespectful and I, in frustration, was yelling at him. I finally ordered him to his room as a way to end the disagreement. All morning I fretted and stewed over the exchange, wondering where I had gone wrong in my parenting and why he couldn't just listen and try to see things my way. When the time came for Coolister to leave for church (he helps with the services at a rest home near our house an hour before our own meetings begin) he acted as if nothing had happened. "I'm leaving, Mom!" he called as he walked out the door. And then added, "I love you!"
It was all just water under the bridge for him. Coolister had moved past the mornings' argument. He had already forgiven me.
I am not proud to admit that I am the kind of person who tends to hold a grudge. If I am offended or have my feelings hurt by someone, I am not so quick to forgive. Instead I let the feeling fester and grow inside of me until it fills a part of me with frustration, anger and hatred. This does nothing to anyone but myself - I am the only one who is harmed by the monster inside as I continue to feed it with resentment and loathing.
I want to be more forgiving and loving. I want to be more like my kids.
And so it goes. I, as a mother, think I am teaching my children all about life. Yet, in reality, they are the ones teaching me what life is really all about.