I’m not perfect. That’s not an excuse. Just fact. I need to be forgiven a lot, and not always by people that understand forgiveness.
My kids don’t quite get the enormity of both the offense and the requested forgiveness. They are resilient. Little bouncy balls of love that haven’t quite tasted the bitterness of life yet.
Last night my middle child kept waking. Each time I would lay back down after trying a different technique to help him get back to sleep. I would just about be asleep when he would start to whimper and cry.
Each time I went back in, I would lose a little bit more of my patience. He got more and more timid, with fresh, innocent hurt welling up in his eyes.
1 am, 2 am, 3 am, 4 am…in and out every 20 minutes. Then he comes in and wakes the baby. Now she is cooing and giggling in her bassinet as if to say “goodmorning mommy, is it time?”
No. Faaaaaaack no I haven’t even freaking gone to sleep yet! The enormity of that realization and what it means for me for that day hits me like a slap across my cheek.
Instead of trusting it will all work out fine, anxiety kicks in and I yell in my toddler’s tired face. “JUST FUCKING GO. TO. SLEEP!!!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!?????”
His Trusting eyes narrow into disbelief. This is my mommy. The banisher of monsters, the singer of peace, the soother of growing limbs. Such anger in my eyes, glaring at him, the betrayal he feels is tangible in the darkened space between us.
My heart panicks and then sinks. I can’t take it back. It’s too late. It’s said. It’s done.
He’s my sensitive soul. The one that tells me he “wuvs me to da moon”. In that moment I feel like I’ve broken the close tie between us. Would he ever forgive me for being so hateful? Does he even know what it means to forgive?
He starts to sob and tremble. My son literally trembled in fear.
I start to cry as well. Feeling like a lost child trying to be the adult. I don’t always know what to say or what to do. If it will break them or raise them up.
I pull him to me. Praying he won’t push me away. He melts into my arms and I lay down with him on one side and the baby nursing on the other. He falls asleep in about 5 minutes and, miraculously, the baby as well. Finally, we rest.
In the morning I ask for forgiveness and he looks at me like nothing happened.
“Otay mommy it’s otay.”
I’m crying again. I don’t feel deserving of his trusting, unconditional love.
“Mommy don’t twy. I wuv you to da moon.”
I’m not making that up. That’s what he said to me.
To forgive like that. To let go. To just love. Without expectation. What a gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts we could ever GIVE and ever GET.
Is there someone who doesn’t deserve your forgiveness? There is surprising freedom in forgiving. In letting go of that debt. Let go and you will receive much more than you might think possible.