We were in the midst of another epic meltdown. Our four year old son’s sobs filled the kitchen. He had been wronged. Life wasn’t fair. Who had caused him this pain? The culprit was his sister. Yes, a petite, doe-eyed, chubby cheeked toddler. Kendall, innocently armed with a pencil had (gasp!) scribbled on two pages of Daniel’s newly delivered magazine. Clearly this was a catastrophe.
My eyes met with my husband’s and we exchanged a knowing glance. You know the look. It’s the we-can’t-decide- if-we-want-to-scream-or-laugh look. “It’s not a big deal, buddy,” Brian reassured him, to no avail.
“But I can’t see the pictures at all. She ruined it!!!” The wails and sobs began to escalate.
Kendall stood by me with both concern and the remnants of dinner plastered on her face. “Your brother is sad because you colored on his magazine. We color on coloring books. Can you tell him you are sorry and give him a hug?”
And then grace found us. Right there, in the middle of our messy kitchen filled with runny noses, dirty dishes, and sippy cups.
Kendall walked over to Daniel, who was practicing for his future best actor in a dramatic series win. “Sorr-ee, Dan-oh.” Kendall spoke with earnest. “Sorr-ee, Dan-oh”, she repeated seeking out his teary eyes.
The wails stopped. “It’s okay, Kendall.”
And brother and sister embraced each other.
Later, as I helped Kendall erase the pencil marks on her brother’s magazine I thought how easy it is to chalk up Daniel’s tantrum to his age. But what was my excuse? How many times had this 30-something year old blown up for something that (if I’m being honest), was really not a big deal? How readily did I let go and forgive? Or did I hold on to my anger over little things, harboring grudges and resentment against others?
And once more, the after dinner lesson in forgiveness for my kids became a lesson for this mama too.