We all have them. Sometimes we hide them, sometimes we lie about them, sometimes we try to forget about them. I’m talking about those awful parenting moments when you know you’ve made a giant mistake. Perhaps you’ve yelled, maybe you forgot to pick someone up, it might be that you laid the shame and blame on a bit too thick, or you were sarcastic and mean or terse and short tempered.
It’s ruined . . . . FOREVER!
There is one that lives on in our family. We can laugh about it now, but at the moment no one was giggling. Our house had just had the upstairs renovated and I had new, beautiful, white linen drapes installed on the wall of windows in the bedroom. One of my kids was upstairs doing homework in my room and I went casually up to check on him. On the shelf below the curtain I noticed a book, a notebook and an uncapped sharpie. WHAT? AN UNCAPPED SHARPIE? WHAT WAS HE DOING WITH A SHARPIE IN THE FIRST PLACE? I approached the sharpie and what do I see on my linen curtain? A thin green line of permanent marker. I turned on my heel and looked straight in his face and yelled, really yelled. “It’s RUINED . . . . FOREVER!!!!”
Love means having to say you are sorry.
Being a smart kid, he high tailed it into his room, apologized and left me alone to freak out. And freak out I did. How could he be so disrespectful? Why can’t we have nice things? Why do they sell sharpies? No one with children should be able to have sharpies in their house. Why? Why Me? Once that ran it’s course the parenting remorse set in. He didn’t ruin the drapes on purpose. It really could have happened to anyone, and it often does. With my emotions in check, I went in and apologized for losing it and he apologized for Sharpiegate and we moved on with our evening. I really was sorry for yelling like a crazy person and he really was sorry for writing on the drapes. We both apologized and we both remembered that people are more important than things.
It’s still there . . .
The faint green line is still on those drapes, I hardly ever notice it, and when I do I smile at the blooper reel that plays in my mind of that evening. It’s a good story now. I tell it in my parenting classes to illustrate how you can lose it and apologize and make up, all in about ½ hours time. So what’s your blooper reel? Have you apologized for it? Can you laugh at it now? Family life is full of bloopers and luckily we can get up the next day and try again and again and again. Maybe some day we’ll all be ready for our close ups!