I was standing by the counter in the kitchen. Sorting mail I think. It’s actually that part of the house that can’t make up it’s mind – am I kitchen or am I family room. Cause you are a step from each when standing there. Nonetheless, the view toward the front door is clear there. And that’s where the crime occurred.
KG (what I call Katey Grace, our 5 year old) was sitting on the front rug in the foyer playing cards of some sort. Abby (the 3 year old) had been playing there with her. Something must have caused them to quit playing together. And it provoked even more. Abby walked toward me. I noticed her and looked down. Then looked back toward the counter next to me. Then, in my periphery vision, I saw our princess of a 3 year old, blonde hair flowing behind her as she ran, gain speed rapidly in order to position herself for a swift kick right in KG’s back.
If it had been a field goal, probably would have gone the distance for at least a 35 yarder.
Needless to say, KG let out a yelp. And Abby just turned to look at me. Wide eyed. A small crinkle in her nose, as if to say, “I meant to do that, but I know I probably shouldn’t have, but it felt good.”
Being the master disciplinarian that I am, I immediately leaped into action, calm and cool and collected, blurting out a question that is effective with any logical, well-reasoned, Harvard-trained 3 year old. “What in the world were you thinking!!!???”
A lot of crying.
From both KG and Abby.
“Abby, go sit on the step.” Crying.
“KG, are you okay?” Crying. Then her response – “It hurts, Daddy! She kicked me right in my back. It really, really hurt me.”
I performed a look over. All vertebrae seemed fine and functional. No signs of paralysis. Just hurt feelings more than anything.
I then went over to Abby, knelt down, and asked her to please stop crying. She had not yet. She finally did. I asked her again why she kicked KG. She had no reason. KG didn’t know either. Then Abby did what any potty-trained 3 year old would do. Grabbed herself in the tinkle area. You see, that’s what “holding it” means.
I asked her to go to the potty. She did. We all took a deep breath.
Then something beautiful happened. “On earth as it is in heaven,” even. KG slowly walked up to Abby and wiped a tear from her eye. Abby just looked at her. Then KG opened up her arms, and Abby, right there crouched on the potty in the downstairs half-bath, leaned forward like a heap. KG caught her in a huge hug that pictured forgiveness like I had never seen.
“Are you okay, Abby?” KG clearly is a compassionate one. We have seen it on more than one occasion. “I forgive you.” She uttered the words before Abby even said she was sorry. Abby said, “Sorry.” And the world between these two sisters was right again, for the same reason that our world was made right again – LOVE INITIATED.
Forgiveness is taking the 1st step to further relationship, not flipant, verbal response to someone apologizing.
And once again, my kids taught me about the Kingdom of God in ways that nothing else has.
Lord, thanks for coming near to me, taking the 1st step, meeting me in the middle of my great mess, and offering relationship and togetherness before I even said sorry. May I forgive like you.