I really messed up the other day.
Earlier in the week, Ana brought home a permission slip to participate in a fun run/walk for a local charity in town. She was going to get to do this two mile walk and would get, in the process, a gift certificate for a meal at a BBQ restaurant and a T shirt.
In other words? It was a big deal.
Ana was so excited when I said we could put it on the calendar, plan to be there, and participate. I put the permission slip aside since it wasn’t due for another few days. Every day Ana reminded me about that permission slip, all while she continued to chatter about how she needed to train for those two miles. It was a constant refrain — train, permission slip, train, permission slip…
Then, Friday came. And Emma was a spotted mess. And ADD and dyslexic! In the hysteria and chaos of getting Emma taken care of, I left the permission slip at home.
I didn’t realize my mistake until I picked Ana up, came home, and found it sitting on the counter. Sure enough, the form clearly read that it was past due. I jumped back into the car, praying that someone — anyone! — would be up at the school, ready to take that permission slip. I would NOT let Ana down. I would NOT let Ana down!
Except… I did. Because there was no one there at the school to take the permission slip. And I came home, dejected and sad, and sat down with Ana, who fought back tears, as I told her that I had seriously messed up and that I was so very, very sorry.
“It’s okay, Mommy,” she managed past her quivering lip. “I didn’t really want to train for those two miles anyway.”
Break. My. Heart.
Even as I struggle to forgive myself for messing up and letting my children down, I have to praise God that He’s building in Ana the capacity to extend grace and to put the feelings of others above her own, as evidenced by her willingness to forgive and try to comfort me when she was the one who had been hurt. I’m thankful that she was able to move past the disappointment to find some good in the situation and in the solution we offered — we found another fun run for the WHOLE family to do together. She’ll still get to train, and she’ll still get a shirt. (And she doesn’t even like BBQ. So we offered her a meal at McDonald’s instead. Which she said would be much better.)
Thankful that we have these opportunities for my children to see that I don’t always get it right. Thankful that they’re learning to forgive even me when I mess it all up.