I Forgive You

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I Forgive YouIt was the day after Christmas break and I was rushing around trying to get ready for school in the morning. There were so many things on my mind. I’m having to leave my nursing baby, remember everything for my pump, pack my lunch, leave the house on time, and make sure my virtual students had assignments waiting on them at 8am.

Is everything charged? Is everything ready to go? Is my daughter ready for school? Are the boys up?

I grabbed a random scrunchie lying on my nightstand. It was Amelia’s. She’s eight-years-old and at that age where she wants a lot more autonomy. She likes to keep her accessories to herself and have her own things, but she’s not ready to stop sharing things with mommy either. I was sort of hoping she didn’t notice I was using it.

In an instant, she rounded the corner and said, “Hey mommy, about that scrunchie!” and I snapped. HERE. Here take it. Forget it. I don’t want it anymore. I rolled my eyes like a teenager. (Thinking back…what a terrible example I was just then!)

I ripped it out of my hair and tossed it on the bed. She looked genuinely surprised and disappointed. And she looked up at me with her little timid eyes and with a small voice she said, “You can use it. I was just going to say it’s not a very strong scrunchie because it’s made of silk, and it won’t hold your hair up so good.” As she spoke, her voice wavered and her eyes got misty. I think I said something like, “Okay, whatever, it’s fine.”

On the drive to school, I broke down.

I spoke to my eight-year-old candidly about my own emotions and how she shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of my anxiety and irritability. I apologized to her in every way imaginable and reminded her how wonderful she was. I reminded her that when people are stressed or anxious, they are snippy and say things they don’t mean, but it’s important that they apologize and try to recognize when they’re behaving that way.

When we get to school, Amelia stays in my classroom for a few minutes while I head to bus duty. She watches the clock and knows to make her way down to her classroom before morning assembly. Sometimes she leaves me a note or a picture, and when I got back to my room to start my day, I saw this picture:

I instantly teared up and thanked God for such an amazing daughter. Not only had she forgiven me, but she had put the scrunchie in her pocket for me. Children are resilient, forgiving, and so much more insightful than we realize.

The moment was tough for me, but as a mom, I learned this: Be self-aware. Learn to recognize when you’re being irritable and taking it out on loved ones. Humble yourself and apologize sincerely. Talk about it; everyone makes mistakes and has ugly moments. We can only grow from there.

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I live in La Follette, TN with my husband Luke and our 3 children: Amelia (8), Lincoln (3), and Arthur (newborn). I'm a kindergarten teacher in the public school system and I absolutely love what I do. I'm very passionate about education and the well-being of children all over the world. I like to write about my experiences as both a mother and a teacher. Balancing both is really tricky, and I'm still getting the hang of it. My husband, who I truly believe is the world's best father, is an auctioneer at his family business Longmire Realty & Auction Co. While we love our jobs, we value family time the most. We spend a lot of time outdoors and love to go camping all over the east coast.

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