The day started like any other. Pancakes were demanded. Fits were thrown. Threats were made. Compromises followed. We rushed. We were late. We forgot a toy. Tantrum began. And I blew a fuse.
This morning last week was one of my low points as a mother. I know that mornings are tough in general with kids. They get ready at their own pace. We are constantly rushing them. The simple task of brushing teeth can become the source of huge contention. This particular morning I was feeling rough. I was sick. I had a big day at work ahead. Seth had worked graves that night. I just was off. Millie was off as well. And when the tantrum started in the back seat, the front seat lost their shit. I mean really lost it. I screamed "STOP IT! BE QUIET!!! STOP SCREAMING!" I made threats. I was just plain mean. Luckily when the teacher at preschool came and got her out of the car, through her tears and cries, I knew she was in better hands than she would be with me. I told her goodbye and gladly drove away.
It only took moments for me to realize how much I had failed. I let her get the best of me. I totally acted unreasonably. She's only 4! Why can't I keep it together? I felt awful. I sent a text to Seth and told him to have her Facetime me when she got home from school, so that I could apologize.
A few hours later I answered their call. A beautiful, happy Millie said, "Momma! HI!" I instantly told her that I was sorry I yelled at her. I told her that no matter how frustrated I was with her it was not ok for me to scream. She said, "It's ok mom! Look at the worm I made at at school today!"
That was it. She was completely fine. I felt better. I didn't feel great, but I felt better.
That night as I was putting her to bed, I was snuggling with her and told her over and over how much I loved her and how sorry I was again for yelling. Millie rolled over, grabbed my face and said, "It's ok mom. You're good. It's good."
I knew she was fine. That's the thing about children. They are so forgiving. They seem to recognize that we mess up. They acknowledge it and quickly forgive. It is such a blessing to me.
Unfortunately, we as adults are not so quick to forgive and forget. We get angry. We replay situations over and over. We fuss and stew and dwell. We play sides. We gossip. We contrive and manipulate.
Yet how often are we willing to fully forgive someone that has wronged us?
My family isn't in a really great place right now. There is a lot of contention. A lot of hurt feelings. A lot of misunderstanding. I know I have played a large role in this. I often feel as if I need to make a stand against someone that has wronged someone I love. I need to show some "tough love". I need to keep my distance to prove a point. However when I do, I don't feel good. I feel awful. It doesn't feel natural to alienate people that I love, no matter how much they may have hurt me. Or hurt someone I love. I try to soften and see if things can get better. And they usually do. I know all families have their issues but I will say, my family has had to do a large amount of forgiving over the years. And truthfully I am usually one of the last to let things go. But I'm working on it. I've been able to forgive others from some pretty hairy mistakes. Hell, we all have grown through some of the situations we have been in. Life goes on. We still love each other.
I feel like I have often been the peacemaker in the family. Anyone that serves in this role knows the burden that it carries. I kind of hate it. Yet I feel a responsibility to be that person in my family. However, right now I don't know what to do. I see both sides to the current issue so clearly. Both sides are hurt. It's sometimes easier to be one of the wronged parties. You can draw a line clearly in the sand. But what happens when you are stuck in the middle? Trying to bridge both groups? What if you show more allegiance to one party over the other? It's just an overall shitty place to be. The peacemaker means you often have to have the "hard talk" with two sides. You have to be the one to suck it up and say, "ok, I'll talk to them." I just hope that the talks will work. I hope that each side will see the other's perspective. I hope that we can all be more kind to each other. This current state we are in is not enjoyable.
Forgiveness. It's so hard to give. I actually find it is harder to forgive when someone I loved was wronged, than it is to forgive a mistreatment of me. It is just hard. Yet being in a state of not forgiving someone is not pleasant. You don't feel peace. You feel anger. You feel hurt. You hold onto a grudge of sorts that just picks at you. You have episodes where you lash out at the person. Why then do we withhold forgiveness. Why not just give it freely? What do we lose if we don't forgive? Perhaps we feel too vulnerable if we forgive someone. We feel that by forgiving someone we open ourselves to being hurt by that person again. So what if they wrong us again. People mess up. People make bad choices. We all do. It's hard to forgive and it's damn hard to be forgiven.
It is hard but necessary. I don't know the point of this blog. Is it to call people to forgiveness? Maybe. Is it a wakeup call for me? Likely. I just know that being in a state of anger and frustration just makes me feel like crap. So here's hoping we can all be more forgiving of one another. Don't forgive for their sake, forgive for your sake. We need to allow that peace within us.
It's ok - you're good.