I used to pride myself on the ability to hold a grudge for, like, ever. Why on earth would I pride myself on such an awful quality, you ask? Well, I may not be able to stick to a diet or exercise program for more than a week, but staying pissed off forever takes dedication, dammit. And, I excel at it! Go, me!
This quality has served me well for the last thirty odd years. However, these days, I’m finding my ability jeopardized. Everything is so much more complicated once children enter the picture. Lily has this thing where she acts like a complete and absolute terror, screaming that she hates me and wants a new mother and that I am ruining her life. It takes every fiber in my being to not yet yell “SHUT THE FUCK UP!!” at her and slam the door in her face. It’s fantastic.
But, then, suddenly, she’s over it. Her big brown eyes peer up at me and she innocently asks “Can we start over, please? I’m sorry.”
Now, I’d like to say that I melt into a pile of love and all of my anger just washes away. That would be the right thing to say, but that’s not the case, see, because I have that gift of holding a grudge forever. No apology can get through the wall I put up, no matter how tear-filled.
But, I’m realizing that that’s not the example that I want to pass on to my daughter. Even if forgiveness doesn’t come naturally to me, it does for her and that’s a good thing. I can learn from her. I want to learn from her. So I accept her apology and move on, until the next inevitable explosion.
And I know that I’m lucky. With me as a mother, her gift of forgiveness is going to come in pretty handy.