Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Six-thirty a.m. on a school day. No amount of sugar-coating will make it less ugly, so I'll just be frank: I threw a colossal temper tantrum. Complete with name-calling and kicking a kitchen cabinet. I yelled. I slammed dishes around. I shamed and belittled a seven-year-old. Just seeing this description of myself in black and white makes me want to crawl in a hole...but there it is.
By the time we needed to leave, I wasn’t yet truly feeling sorry. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t have a sincere desire to repent and reconcile with my kids. I was still angry—a combination of anger over the original trigger, and anger at myself for acting so irrational and out-of-control. Mercifully, I had a moment of clarity, realizing that if something happened that day, and the last interaction I had with my son was this shameful tantrum, I’d never be able to live with myself.
So I knelt down and looked in his eyes. I told him that although I had been angry, that didn’t make it OK for me to yell at him and call him a baby, and I was wrong to treat him like that. I apologized and asked him to forgive me.
Elijah didn’t hesitate to extend forgiveness. It frequently blows me away how quick my children are to accept my apologies, even when I’ve been horrible to them. I hugged and kissed him, and also hugged and kissed my four-year-old (who had suffered collateral damage from my tantrum, receiving a few harsh words of his own for minor things that ordinarily wouldn’t have been such a big deal), and we got in the car.
While the instant forgiveness was beautiful and impressive, that wasn’t what struck me hardest. The really remarkable thing happened later that morning.
[Head over to Ungrind to read the rest!]