Last night was a bit of a rough evening for my son and me. He went to bed and I was still angry and found it hard to let go. I don't like ending the day like that but sometimes it takes time to sort it all out and I’m realizing that's okay. It's been important to my husband and me to teach our kids the concept of “making things right” when they have done something hurtful or unkind. I used to believe that had to look a certain way - mainly a genuine spoken “I’m sorry.” But that's certainly not something we can force if we want it to come from the heart. And I am learning that it may not be how my children will most genuinely express themselves. My children have taught me that there is more than one way – more than just my way - of doing things. And I need to give them time and space and freedom to find their own way.
Just before we left for school this morning, my son was finishing his breakfast and out of the blue says, "You're a good mom." And I realized, in that moment, in his own way, he was apologizing and seeking to make it right between us. This morning I could have lectured him about the night before. I could have insisted he apologize. But I realized how important it is to let our kids make things right in their own way and in their own time. They can take as long as they need to get to true repentance. There are consequences in the meantime – broken trust and hurt feelings lead to disconnection and that takes time to rebuild. But I don't need to rush it or insist it look a certain way. I wasn't ready to forgive last night. He wasn't ready to seek forgiveness. And then he was. He opened his heart and offered it to me - so simply and so true to himself. And I opened my heart and forgave. I’m so glad I couldn’t control how my son chose to make things right with me. If I could, I would have missed out on his heart – and what a precious, creative and loving heart he has.