Forgiveness is one of those complex processes that is learned at an early age yet never fully understood.
Let me back up by saying this past weekend was one of those weekends. Husband was away for work so it was just me and the kids. On Saturday, Amelia who is beyond picky decided she didn’t want to eat any of her normal foods. Baby Haiden who loves to eat didn’t want any of his bottles. Yet both children were hungry and cranky all day. Then for some reason Amelia woke up at 5:20 a.m Sunday morning. Imagine my disappointment when I rolled over in a fog of sleep to nudge Husband only to feel his cold pillow. Oh yeah, just me. It was an interesting moment when I realized all three of us had finished breakfast and dressed for the day, and it was just shy of 6:00 a.m. By late morning I found myself mentally counting down the minutes until their afternoon naps. We struggled through another lunch and then with great delight I tucked both kids in bed and passed out face down on my bed.
Then Haiden decided to wake up after 20 minutes rather than his usual 3 hours. I shot out of bed to get him before he woke Amelia (a notoriously light napper). I bounced and rocked and shushed him while I quickly made a bottle, maybe he was hungry? Nope. After trying everything I could think of, I re-swaddled him to put him in his swing. The instant his body touched the swing his cries turned into an ear-piercing scream. Half a second later, Amelia’s cries were backing him up. I think I actually heard my patience snap. I looked at Haiden with what must have been an ugly mix of frustration and anger, and cried out something along the lines of “What is wrong with you!?” With a screaming Haiden on my hip, I got screaming Amelia out of her crib, and we all went downstairs to start the afternoon.
It took about 15 minutes to calm them both down and in that time I was being soundly berated by my inner self for losing my patience. “So he didn’t want to nap. So I was tired. That wasn’t Haiden’s fault. He was probably not feeling well. What kind of mom yells at their 3 month old baby for not feeling well?” Perspective out the window, louder and louder these words were bouncing around my head as I helped Amelia stack her books on the table. And then it happened. I glanced at Haiden in his bouncy seat and he flashed me a big, toothless, gummy grin. I paused for a second, smiled back, then continued to help Amelia. Inside though I was overwhelmed. On one level I already knew he would never remember I’d lost it, and I knew I was having a completely normal case of “mommy guilt.” But how amazing to be forgiven so quickly and completely by my baby boy. His grin was a precious gift that reminded me forgiveness when it’s most needed, like when a parent has faltered and lost perspective of the situation, has the ability elevate us out of the everyday and into the extraordinary.