The remnants of Hurricane Fay have finally made their way into our neck of the woods bringing lots of rain. This afternoon the children and I decided to go to our mall's indoor playground after school as a way to get out some pent up energy.
What started as a game of chase got a little carried away (as it tends to with 4 year old boys involved). Suddenly, I heard crying on the other side of the playground. While I recognized that it did not belong to one of my children, I was shocked to see the crying little girl's mother scowling at my R. Uh-oh!
He looked a bit remorseful and a lot guilty so I instructed him to apologize and then summoned him over to where I was sitting. After a false start with an explanation that was not true, he finally fessed up that he was sorry that he 'hurt her arm.' I am still not sure exactly what happened, but the fact of the matter is that my sweet but rambunctious boy was a playground bully in that mother and daughter's eyes. It stung. I felt ashamed and embarrassed.
I was reminded, again, that no matter how much your lecture, model, pray, instruct, reward, discipline...People still mess up. Just as I sin, so will my children. Our kids are going to make bad choices--sometimes well thought out, sometimes from getting caught up in the moment. We must handle things justly, but seasoned with grace.
And the next time my children are on the receiving end of aggression, I will certainly be a bit more understanding of how it feels to be in the other Mom's shoes.