Actions Affect and Apologies Matter, Always
“But, mo-om!” he says, his tone and his lean and his slump all sending the same message.
Knees to carpet, I face my guy. His hazel eyes are wide, his shock of blond hair is messy. His body leans into mine. “I did.” He says, lies really.
“Go,” I say.
“No,” he answers.
We’re at preschool drop off. A delicious part of the day where he sees his friends and teachers and I kiss my sweet boy good bye and two hours of writing time, hello!
An auburn haired boy with a dinosaur roaring on his bright red shirt cries for his mom, a tall mother with sleek black hair and the kind of put-together outfit I struggle getting into so early in the morning, cries for her preschooler. Book pages are carefully turned, preschool-style hellos are sweetly waved.
Just moments before Brody put his name stick in the green basket and stepped forward to hug me good bye before sliding into the last (coveted) spot by the teacher reading the book.
I watched him maneuver this well-worn routine and readied to say my goodbyes and slip into my time. But when I looked up, I saw him bound right over a friend.
She’s small and slight and wearing pink bejeweled clothes and carefully braided pigtails. When he bumped her she stumbled; he didn’t notice.
I was taken aback, I have to admit that I was, and when he fell into my arms for a quick goodbye I said, “Careful, buddy. You knocked right into her. Go say you’re sorry.”
And that’s how I ended up right here, with my four year old in my arms, shaking his head no at me.
“Go make sure she’s okay,” I push, a mothering habit I tend to slip toward. We turn our heads and look her way. She sits on her own, legs splayed, a book resting in her lap.
The easier and faster and less humbling thing to do is to let it go and move on. I know this, but I can’t.
I push, he pushes back, and finally we go together.
He has a hard time starting, she does it for him. “Brody, why are you so sad?” she asks.
“Yes,” she nods, blond braids swinging.
“I’mSorryAreYouOkay?” He says in one breath.
“Yes,” she nods, braids swinging yet again.
He looks my way, “See?” He asks. “She’s fine.” He adds for good measure.
And just for an instant, I waver. Did I push too hard? Did he mean it? Did all of that matter?
Glancing his way, I see him pat his friend on the shoulder as he gentles by her side and hands her another book, and I know that it does.
Because what I want him to know is this — actions affect and apologies matter, always.
Do you make your kids apologize?