Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lesson

Dear Miss V,

    This morning was a rough one, sweet girl. A rough, tough one with a lot of tears. We got ready for your ballet class, just like we do every Wednesday. You were happy and excited, just like always. We got there a little early, and you ran off to play with your friends. When I noticed you were all getting a little wild, I pulled you aside and told you to calm down and cool it. I think you may even have tried, but the inevitable happened - someone's arm got pulled a little too hard, and the tears got going - and it was you who had accidentally done the pulling. You'd just meant to hold her hand and spin her in a dance move. You didn't mean to hurt. But your buddy was hurt all the same, and she was so upset. And sweetheart, instead of checking to see if she was ok, you ran away. You ran to me, and you cried too, and I understood, and I comforted you, because you are my darling, and I love you, and you are only four years old. But I needed you to know that when you hurt somebody - even on accident - you have to do what's right. You have to check on them and apologize. You were scared, and you didn't want to. You melted down and got rude. I apologized to your friend and her mother, and we left without attending ballet.

    At home, you spent a little time in your room (crying), and then I went to you. We talked about  when it's ok to be wild and crazy. We talked about friends. And then we talked about how it must seem to this friend, that this accident happened, and that then you, her good friend, would refuse to talk to her or see if she's ok, or tell her you're sad and sorry it happened. You thought about it, talked to me about how YOU would feel, and realized that she might think you are mean, and I saw that you were crushed (more tears), and it hurt me to let you be sad, but...it's important for you to understand that our friends do not HAVE to love us. We aren't entitled to that. Kindness is so important, my baby, even when it's scary. Lastly, we talked about how difficult it is to do the right thing sometimes. I held you on my lap and rocked you back and forth, and you decided you were ready to apologize to your friend, and you didn't want to wait.

     So we did the inconvenient thing: we drove back to the dance studio and caught her just as she was leaving class. You were scared that she wouldn't forgive you, but you did it - you talked to your pal. Your apology was sincere, from your heart, rather than a "Sorry" forced through your lips by your embarrassed mother. Your buddy smiled at you and gave you a big hug, and the two of you danced off together to play for a few minutes, while I talked to her mom. Your relief was huge, and I was - am - really proud of you (also, let's be honest, relieved). I KNOW you are only four. I KNOW I could have forced a mumbled apology, instead of taking you out and letting you get upset. Or I could've just let it go, because you're "too young" to understand, and it's "not a big deal", but I believe that we get to choose every day to do what we believe is right, or to do what we know is wrong. I have often made the wrong choice and had to do the inconvenient thing to try to make it right. I don't really know anyone who hasn't. I'm lucky enough to have fantastic, forgiving friends and family, and baby, if you let them see your gorgeous heart, the truly spectacular person I know you are, you will too.

I love you forever, no matter what
Your Weird Old Mother

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