The wise and witty Geoff Le Pard commented on my Bite Size Memoir over at Lisa Reiter's blog. The topic was Childhood Illnesses and I wrote about my son.
Because he was a baby, we, as parents, had to make decisions for him as all parents do. But because he was sick, some of those decisions involved going to the hospital and being tested and having medical procedures. The last line of my flash memoir was remembering thinking that my son wouldn't forgive me. That is ridiculous, of course, because he was an infant. So, really, it was me. I questioned my decisions and got caught up in guilt and forgiveness.
So, back to the comment that Geoff made. It has been buzzing around my brain since he posted it. It is so rich and so true and so simple.
"My experience for what it’s worth is they [children] forgive pretty much everything if you don’t burden them with your guilt."
If you yell at your kids, say 'no' when you probably should have said
'yes', miss their soccer game, forget to send their permission slip in for a school field trip, or lose their favorite stuffed animal, forgive yourself.
Easier said than done. But you must. Because, chances are, your kids don't care half as much as you do. And, chances are, if you
are riddled with guilt, you will burden them with it. Then, chances
are, you will wind up with a child who doesn't forgive because he is constantly being reminded of this awful thing you did. But, chances are, if you don't continue to remind them and apologize for the next ten years, they will forgive and forget.