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.


Alice said...

Just read your post...have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks.

Your post this morning goes right along with our sermon this morning. God forgives us for so much, how much do we forgive others and even ourselves.

Thanks for writing from your heart. Just another reminder from the Lord to me that I have been forgiven much and I need to do the same for others.

Kara said...

I so needed to read this and your perspective, something I hadn't even thought about. So many times I have viewed by kids ability to let things go and move on so easily as they truly didn't realize what they had done wrong or felt sorry. I have wanted to see evidence of that before I'm ready to forgive them.

After reading your post I have been enlightened that this really isn't the case with kids. It is just there nature to forgive easily. No wonder the Savior has taught we need to become as a little child

Rebecca said...

Sweet and true. :)

Teachinfourth said...

And now you're teaching us as well...awesome.

There have been days when my students have gotten angry at me because I won't let them do something, keep them in from recess for not completing an assignment, or whatever else it may be. Though they often fester for a bit, it's only a little while later that I am once-again their favorite teacher and it's like nothing had ever happened.

Indeed, to be more childlike is what I need.

Anaise said...

This was lovely and encouraging because the exact same kinds of moments happen and our house and I have the exact same trouble with forgiving and forgetting that you described.

If we're all in this together then we're all likely to succeed.

I'm glad you wrote this.

(Someday we're must get our two families together in person!)

Deb said...

Exactly...I feel I learn so much eveyday from my kids!Am I teaching them well yet not exercising those teachings myself? Do what I say not what I do?

Rachel said...

Arrrgh! When do we lose this? I wish I could go back to that time and figure out a way to hold onto 'being a child'.

I love the lessons our children teach us. Showing us that once again, we think we are the adults/teachers when we can learn from each other.

I hope I am always surrounding by little children so I never stop learning.

Richard & Natalie said...

Okay. I've had this post up since I read it last night and I just erased the "book" I had going here in the comments, so I will just say this...I was always in such a hurry to grow up and it is stories like this that make me ask myself - Why?
Can you believe the type of world we would live in if we could just simply follow the example of a child?
Thanks for sharing, Gerb.

Mrs. Black said...

Wow... Your kids are teaching me too! You are one lucky mom.

Mrs. Black said...
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Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing, Gerb. I always love the stories shared by you and your family.

I am SOOOOO the person who holds a grudge. I mean, until there is some SERIOUS groveling and apologizing, there's nothing doin' in the forgiveness department.

Looks like I need to make some changes!! Thanks for the reminder!

Gerb said...

Thanks for all of your comments, everyone. And Alice - welcome! Thank you for not only reading, but taking the time to comment. I look forward to seeing you around. ;)

Corine said...

Beautiful! :) See why we all love children so much? Your children are beautiful.

Corine said...
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