Well, I had one of those really proud parenting moments tonight. You know the kind. The ones where you just want to slink away and hide or better yet rewind time, like life was controlled by TiVo. Only you could change the outcome.
It was like that.
My youngest, J, had been playing outside most of the evening with the neighborhood kids. I had told him earlier he had to wear shoes if he was going to be playing outside. I think J is one of the lost members of the Clampett family from the Beverly Hillbillies, because he loves to run around barefooted. But I insisted that he wear shoes. You know, so he won’t get splinters, stubbed toes, it’s not summer time anymore, blah, blah, blah.
So he went out wearing the shoes. However, when it was time to come in for the night – no shoes. He couldn’t find them. He swore that he placed them in a particular spot in the yard, but now they were missing; his good tennis shoes that he wears to school. Not the cheap Wal*Mart kind, but the name brand athletic shoes that I insist he only wear to school and not to play in. And now they were lost. Which they wouldn’t have been if he had kept them on his feet in the first place.
Well, undoubtedly he had to be punished. So I did and I grounded him for an undetermined length of time because I was trying to decide if there were any precedents for this type of infraction that would dictate the length of incarceration. I sent him up for his shower and he was crying. Then the crying got louder and more dramatic as he came running downstairs with his shoes in his hands. Evidently he had brought them in over the course of the evening – for safe keeping I’m sure – and forgotten that he had done so.
I couldn’t help myself. I started to laugh. And he cried louder. I wrapped my arms around him and told him I was sorry. I asked for his forgiveness, which he was quick to give. I love that kid! I wanted to point out that none of this would have ever happened if he had not removed his shoes, but I refrained.
Instead I told him that mommies are human and we make mistakes. I asked again if he would forgive me. He assured me he already had. So I wrapped him up in a blanket and snuggled with him on the couch while we watched a movie. I could tell the incident was already becoming a faded memory for him. I’m sure I’ll rehash it in my mind for a few days thinking over how I could have, should have, handled things differently. My acceptance of his forgiveness will take a little longer than the time it took for him to give it. I’m thankful for it though.
I’m thankful, also, for a God who would offer me forgiveness willingly though I don’t deserve it. I admit that I sometimes try to hold on to and rehash the things I’ve done in the past; wondering how in the world He could forgive me. But He has and He does. And I accept. And I’m grateful.
I’m grateful, also, for a barefooted 8 year old who is able to forgive his mother when she messes up.
I am blessed!