Three little words that can make a huge impact on someone and potentially be a game changer. Those three little words? I am sorry.
As I sit and type this post I am completely drained. Physically because I had a therapy session today and feel as though I have been beat up. Mentally and emotionally I am wiped out. All because of those three little words. This is a feeling I am happy to have and willingly accept as a minor penance for my actions of yesterday. I say minor because I am full of remorse and feel that being sapped of my emotional energy is not nearly enough to convey how deeply I regret my actions.
Yesterday I had a huge argument with my sweet Emily. To tell you the truth I can not even recall what it was all about. We just blew up at each other and being the parent, the law maker, the ruler on high, I asserted my authority. I instantly felt regret as we both watched tears roll down our cheeks, but I could not bring myself to say those three little words. I fully expected her to say them to me, yet I could not open my mouth first. I am not sure when it ever became a rule that parents should not apologize to their children when they do something wrong, but it seemed to slip in there somewhere around the age of three or four. I say that age because we expect our children to learn the meaning of those three little words by then and we hope they will learn to use them without hesitation when the time comes. So why can’t we? Or should I say, why can’t I?
Emily is ten and has had her share of opportunities to say those three little words. Most of the time she is sincere and when she is not it is usually because the anger or pain from the corresponding event is still to fresh to feel empathy for the other person. Emily’s little brother is four and he will apologize most of the time, but he often has to be prompted. Both Emily and William can be stubborn at times ( geez, I wonder where they get that from ), but when the infraction seems to have truly hurt someone, they are both very sincere with their apologies. If this great display of manners were viewed by an outsider they would think that these kid’s parents did a pretty decent job of raising them, right?
I think it is high time I start practicing what I preach. I have told my children that not only should they apologize when they are in the wrong, but that they should also ask forgiveness from the other person. It can be equally as tough to say, “Will you forgive me?” as it is to say those three little words. But, it’s worth it.
With that said, the reason for my emotional roller coaster ride today? Well, that was because I went in search of a card for Emily. We did talk last night and I did say those three little words to her, but it just didn’t feel like enough. As a mom, as Emily’s mama, I have to say that she did me proud when she told me that she accepted my apology and forgave me, but I still felt distressed today. I never want my children to think I don’t love them enough or respect them enough to admit when I am wrong and as great a writer as I can be ( sorry, I couldn’t help it ) I needed the help of an eloquently worded card to really let Emily know how I feel. I am pretty sure that the local Rexall staff will be laughing about me for awhile. I had a fistful of cards, tears rolling down my cheeks, when a staff lady asked me if I was okay. And I have to say I was adult enough, no, make that, I acted like my daughter would and I said, “No thank you, I am just trying to find a good way to say I am sorry.”
I love you Emily and I am truly sorry. Please forgive me. Love forever and always, your mama… <3