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.”
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.