As a parent, we couldn’t imagine not being there for our children. We watch the news and hear stories, and can’t fathom how someone would give up on their child. To not stand by them as they encounter health or behavioral challenges, or whatever it might be. Why? Because as a parent there is nothing we value or hold more dearly than our babies. If our child made a mistake, we stand by their side to get them through it. We wouldn’t threaten to leave them or walk away, leaving them to muddle through the pieces. There is a grace we give our children that many of us fail to extend to our spouses. But they shouldn’t be disposable either. Our spouses should know that even in the midst of a trial or hardship, we will be by their side.
Our babies forgive so freely. One minute you have the potential to be dubbed the “worst mom ever.” The next minute, you’re the “best mom in the whole world.” Children forgive freely. They don’t hold grudges or highlight your shortcomings. They simply let it go and get back to loving us. This was a lesson that I wanted my daughters to know, and, as it would turn out, it is a lesson they have helped me truly understand.
When they are little, we teach our children to say sorry when they have hurt someone. “Say you’re sorry,” we firmly tell them, wondering in the back of our minds if they truly grasp what it means to be apologetic. And yet we struggle to apologize or seek forgiveness when we have hurt our loved ones. We find ourselves holding out in a battle of wills determined not to say sorry first. But children? They apologize, and then they get back to playing and having fun. I’ve learned when I’ve been swift in my seeking of forgiveness we’ve been able to move on, move forward, and get back to the good stuff.