A Little Lesson in Forgiveness

Earlier today as my daughter ran outside, she slammed the door behind her so hard that my wreath crashed to the ground and broken into like a million pieces.

Okay, a million is an exaggeration, but suffice it to say it was too many to put back together.

I loved that wreath.

I tried hard to tell her it was okay, that it was just a wreath, and after all, the latch on the door had been broken for quite some time. Truthfully though, my words weren’t exactly all that heartfelt.

I mean, I really loved that wreath.

She went outside, I swept up the shattered remains, and we all continued with our day.

Later that evening after bedtime, Ana came out of her room with tears streaming down her face. I hopped her up in my lap and began the normal litany of questions. Are you ok? Are you sick? Did you have a bad dream?

The answer to each in turn was no. Finally she buried her little face in my neck and whispered through her tears, “I’m sorry I broke your wreath mommy. I’ll buy you another one with my Christmas money from Papa.”

Sigh.

Man had I messed up!

You see in holding onto my anger, I wasn’t really forgiving her. And she knew it. Here she was laying awake at night crying and offering to spend her own money from her grandfather to buy me another wreath because I had given her the impression that this wreath meant more to me than she did.

In that moment I knew just how wrong I had been. I pulled her tight, repeated my words from earlier that day, that it was just a wreath.

Only this I meant them.

And she knew it.

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Comments

  1. 1

    Beautiful post. Sometimes it’s so easy to lose our temper at the people we love, not just with kids but with siblings or parents too. This is a wonderful realization and relationships are indeed so much more important than physical objects. Thanks for sharing this :)

    • 2

      Thanks Alisa – you are so right. I often feel it the most when I’m busy and stressed out. Then when I can step back and be rational it’s easy to see something like it’s just a wreath. In 5 years, I probably won’t even remember that I ever even owned it!

  2. 3

    That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing and what a lesson!

  3. 4

    This post brought tears to my eyes, I bet moms have a lot of those moments…forgiving is probably the most important lesson we all have to learn, it’s great you have experienced it :-)

  4. 6

    Awww… as mother’s we have all been there. Sometimes I allow the silliest things my kids do to irritate me and I yell at them in frustration. I always think “what would Carol Brady do?” But we live in real life and our emotions get the best of us… we are only human. I’m glad that you and Ana resolved it and she knows that you love her beyond anything material. It’s a lesson we as mother’s can all learn from. Thank you for sharing your story. It was a beautiful wreath…. but your daughter is 1000x more beautiful. :)

  5. 8

    What a beautiful post Jen. Kids are so intuitive, they perceive things we’re not even aware of. But don’t be too hard on yourself; these moments happen to all of us (frequently). The greatest gift is when you learn from the moment, as you did. Loved reading this; thank you.

  6. 10

    What a precious story. Children always amaze me.

  7. 11

    Awww how sweet!

  8. 12

    Oh what a beautiful child you have raised

  9. 14

    That actually brought a tear to my eye! What a nice story.

  10. 16

    What a beautiful and touching story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  11. 17

    Aw what a great post, it actually brought tears to my eyes! It is a beautiful wreath but your daughter is absolutely precious. She must have been thinking about it all day, kids really are amazing. Really nice story Jen.

  12. 18

    I can relate to this post, It’s a bad reflex I have that now I just turn around say a small prayer and try to go on with the day; my girls will be so apologetic and I just say its ok, but lets try to be more careful…I can’t say its always been that simple, but as we all are work in progress I have found success in it. Sweet post, thanks for sharing. :-)

  13. 19

    What a great post! Sometimes it is hard as parents to remember forgiveness, and that our kids really are smart enough to read what we really mean. Your daughter is so sweet she wanted to use her own money. You are a great mom Jen!

  14. 20

    Awww… that brought tears to my eyes. Sweet baby. And you’re a good Momma!
    ;)

  15. 22

    Wow, girls are sure different. Boys might feel exactly the same emotions but they rarely let them out. I can remember a situation almost exactly like this one when I was a girl with my own Mom. Cherish those moments. What a sweetie!

  16. 23

    Awww, what a sweet mama-daughter moment.

  17. 24

    Sniff, Sniff, what a sweet little girl you have. We often delude ourselves into thinking that we are the ones who teach all of the lessons, but there’s a lot we can learn from our children.

  18. 25

    Kids are so intuitive!!

    This is a lovely post — I love your daughter who loves her mama too much! You make a great mama, Jen :)

  19. 27

    What a beautifully-written post. I could stand to learn a thing or two from your daughter.

  20. 28

    Great story Jen..It is lessen learned, and I have to say it happened to me several times that I just forget to get down on their level and say “it’s ok I forgive you” ..Thank you for sharing!!!!

  21. 29

    I frequently need someone else to help me put things into perspective. Good thing there are lots of people who love me and are willing to help. What a sweet daughter you have and that comes from being a great mom.

  22. 31

    You are amazing, Jen! It can be too easy to take feelings of forgiveness for granted from the people we love and care deeply about! What a great lesson for your daughter, because you gave her reassurance, confirmed acceptance, stated the importance of your feelings for her, above all else! I know that she will grow to be the kind of woman that will be able to put others feelings in front of hers and show compassion for others. A beautiful story, thanks for sharing.

  23. 33

    What a sweet little girl you have.

    Sometimes it is hard to suck up a material loss. It may sound silly to need grieving time for a “thing”, but sometimes we need it, before we can pop things back into perspective.

  24. 34

    Jen, thanks for such an honest post. As a mom of three I’ve ‘been there, done that’ more times that I’d like to remember.

    I also have a hard time looking at the big picture and sometimes get bogged down in the smaller issues (I’m working on it). Maybe I’m overtired, overstressed or just in a bad mood. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that put us in a grump and we react to other situations in ways that we normally wouldn’t.

    I think hearing parents apologize for things that they do wrong is a very important step in teaching our children forgiveness. You’ve raised a very compassionate little girl who obviously loves her mom. :)

    • 35

      I completely agree with you. As parents we need to let kids know that sometimes people aren’t perfect, and we all make mistakes. But we also need to teach them how to handle those mistakes – especially when they involve other people!

  25. 36

    Super post..i am mother of one noti boy..

  26. 37

    Beautifully written post… and everything you wrote is so true. Your daughter sounds like such a sweet girl.

  27. 39

    What a lovely post! It can be hard to remember as parents sometimes the impact our feelings can have, but in the end it was alright :)

  28. 40

    Aww. Hugs to both of you. <3

  29. 41

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  30. 42

    This is such a beautiful post. My admiration at the beginning of your post was for the picture of the wreath, and at the end it was for the concern and selflessness of your daughter. So touching.

  31. 44

    Kids are so sensitive to our feelings no matter how hard we try to veil them. I always say it’s like holding up a mirror. You learned a valuable lesson and one a lot of us can benefit from and learn from as well.

  32. 45

    Oh Jen, this is such a sweet post!! It’s amazing how sensitive and in-tune kids can be! LOVE this post so much!

  33. 47

    Wonderfully written post. It’s hard to convey how one feels sincerely at all times. We all have crazy days and it always amazes me how much my kids understand or pick up from me no matter what I may say.

  34. 49

    Aw, this made me cry! You’re such a good mama!

  35. 51

    When I was about half way through reading your post, a goose bumps suddenly covered all my arms: I felt a same guilt just a month ago with my son. Although, he didn’t come to me, I went to his room to explain and apologize. Thanks for sharing this story. I am sure many of us, moms, have similar stories to tell. And more important, it really sets a priorities: a wreath or a happy relationships?! Thanks for visiting my blog. I subscribe for a new posts.

    • 52

      I’m so glad you stopped by Marina. I think we’ve all been there – with our kids and with other people in our lives. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in being annoyed and just need to focus on letting go of it…

  36. 53

    oh a mother’s love..this has always been a scene inside our home..we as mothers can be angry at times but when our kids learned and accepted their mistakes a mothers heart will always rule..passing by Jen..

  37. 54

    Aaaw, you’re a good mom. Your little girl is so beautiful – like a little doll. :)

  38. 56

    That is oh so wise, and oh so close to the heart. I’ve been there a few times, and it is more powerful to tell your own children you’re sorry than to make up something that’s not hearfelt at all.

  39. 58

    That is just the sweetest story. I could visualize every little movement and emotion you shared here. I can only imagine how horrible you felt and yet I’m sure it probably wasn’t in the way you initially told her how it was ok that the wreath broke – but that she knew from whatever you may have said when you purchased it just how much adored the wreath.

    It’s so hard being a parent sometimes. How you handled it sounded just fine. After all you were a bit disappointed so the words may not have been as convincing initially but at least you didn’t blow your stack and blast her like some might have done.

    You sound like a very good mommy. Your story almost made me cry. Thank you for sharing it.

  40. 59

    This is an incredible story, and beautifully written. I think it’s a testament to your parenting, too, that she was so filled with the idea sacrifice and compassion. You sound like a good mama!

    And don’t be so hard on yourself — after all, it was a *really* pretty wreath!

  41. 60

    As with other commenters, this post brought tears to my eyes — and lovely memories of my daughter when she was younger! This is such a testimony to the strength and bond of the mother-daughter love! So glad to have found your blog, Jen!

  42. 62

    This is so beautiful! You gonna make me cry.. Ok, pass the tissue..

  43. 63

    Lovely post Jen, thank you so much for sharing.
    Sometimes as parents it is hard to take a step back in the heat of the situation to see how much our anger or resentment of disappointment can affect a child..

  44. 64

    Awww Jen…I have a lump in my throat as I am reading and typing. Actually, I don’t feel either of you handled anything wrong. We all, young and old, have sentimental attachments to material things and that’s normal. And you know, if you had broken something of hers by accident….you would naturally be offering to replace it. And isn’t that the right thing to do, as adults? Wouldn’t you offer to replace something of hers that you broke, or if you broke something that belonged to your neighbor? So it looks like she has learned well, how to take responsibility. And it’s okay that you both felt bad….the most important thing is that you were able to come together to talk about it. And to me, that your daughter initiated it…..tells me you are doing something right as a parent! So don’t be so hard on yourself…..and why don’t you both pick out a new wreath together. A better wreath…cuz it will be one that you both love! What a great heartwarming story, Jen….and I’m so glad you shared it! : )

  45. 66

    This was a very lovely post with a lesson for all of us to heed. I hope youhave a great day. Blessings…Mary

  46. 67

    I have similar experiences in the past with my children too. And I hate myself for making a mistake by less important things. My emotions come first and can’t recognize what’s more important at that moment. I often regret what I’ve done during the day and feel so guilty about how I said or reacted. Thinking if I am a good mom…etc. I know we moms learn from our children and grow together. We learn a lot from them, actually. Ana is a sweetheart and you raised her right. She also learned this time to be a little more careful about things around and mom can be attached to some things (not just kids!). I can share so many stories of mine but I keep it with me for now (since it’s so public here haha). Thanks for sharing. It was good time to reflect myself. :-) As for the wreath, I’m sure it is meant for you to find something more beautiful. :-)

  47. 69

    Very sweet post!

  48. 70

    Wow. Jen, I am literally tearing up right now. Thank you for sharing this story. For reasons I do not want to pour out on your comments page, I can say that it was quite timely… Have a great Wed!

  49. 72

    All I wanted to do was know how you got your peanut butter blossoms to look so good. (Brach’s Stars)..I didn’t want to cry at this beautiful lesson and the graceful way you shared it!!!!! How I got here today I’ll never know….How I needed to read this post..That, .I do know! Sincerely, Mom of a 4.5 year old… Much love to you !You are a wonderful Mom!

    • 73

      Isn’t it funny how sometimes you come across just what you need! Kids can definitely be trying at times, and sometimes it’s so difficult to keep things in perspective.

      Sending best wishes your way!

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