Yesterday, my kids, along with many others...were playing in the back yard. Swinging each other on the Hammock and laughing and screaming like it was equal fun to space mountain in Disney! It was like music to the ears of the mom's as we talked and listened to the fun our little people were having!
And then...the dreaded cry? Several of us ran to find out what was happening. Normally when I enter a situation where a child is crying...the first thing I would say is, "R U OK!!??!!??" But for whatever reason the first thing I said....as I squatted down in front of the person upset was, "R U Hurt, or angry?" As shocked as we both were by my words, the answer came quick, "I'm mad!....so and so pushed me "on purpose"."
As we all sat and talked about what happened, it was clear to me that no one did anything on purpose, rather a crazy and fun game went bad for a second, and there was a casualty. And so I did my mom spiel by reminding them that being hurt or shoved or whatever....is no less scary and hurts no less just because it was an accident. And so the right thing to say....no matter if we are at fault or not...is, "I'm sorry."
They listened so well and an "I'm sorry was immediately thrown out to the sad child." And this child's frown turned to a huge smile The instant the words were out there...and they just all ran right back to the hammock and started the game again!! :) The game continued for hours until it was just time to go in for dinner!!
I was so proud of the apology, the friendship that they showed, the resilience of the person who was wronged! It showed love and maturity...on all accounts. And it got me thinking. About the power of the words, I'm sorry.
When you make a mistake: It's hard to say I'm sorry. At times, no matter how old you are, saying these words feels a bit like an admission of guilt? And when the intentions were not malicious - we try so hard to preserve our innocence that we have a hard time spitting it out.
Much easier to say I am sorry to a true friend. Someone that knows your spirit and your heart! Someone that knows that you love them! But let's be honest...we are human beings that may make a mistake. Misjudge a situation, blurt out the wrong thing...walk the wrong path for a brief moment. The words "I am sorry" do not show that you are bad or mean, they prove that your want to show the person your true heart it more important than saving face! Huge! Saying I'm sorry NEVER makes you look guilty! It only makes you look concerned and loving!
When you are wronged: Life is hard and as mom's, people, children, we have to take some amount of control in our lives to keep us going. I clean my house to feel in control some days. We protect ourselves from unfamiliar situations by opting out of certain social situations, we choose activities that we have some comfort level in. All so that we can do our best to spend most of our time - on top of the world. Happy and secure.
The truth of the matter is....And I mean this metaphorically....if you play a game that involves being upside down on a hammock, there is a chance you will bite the dust. But there is also a chance that you will have more fun than you have had in weeks? Hmm....toss up?
As adults we can pre-think our decisions a bit more, but just the same, we all find ourselves in a place some days that says, "Wow...I never even thought of the possibility that this might hurt me and now that it has...I have lost faith in myself a bit."
And in the turmoil of lost faith....it is AMAZING how hearing the words, "I'm sorry that happened to you. R U OK?".......can tell your brain...."Oh...it's ok...someone understands me and my situation...I'm going to keep on trudging this path." The words almost diffuse that fear that creeps into us!
And so I have learned from my children again this weekend. The power of some simple words. The internal struggle to say them is real....and so is the power of healing that they provide! I vow to make sure my children know the value of this concept, and above that I vow that I will live by this lesson that these sweet babies reminded me of.