Sunday Post 176: Forgive and Forget

Maybe I’ve always held a grudge.

As a child as fairly nondescript. I didn’t excel at much of anything. I wasn’t popular. At the same time, I wasn’t overly weird – didn’t really stand out for good or for bad.

I was bullied on occasion, but I think I was more fearful of being bullied than I was actually bullied. In the few instances where someone did pick on me, I simply worked to avoid the bullier. I’d change my lunch table or take a different path home from school. But I never forgot. To this day I can recount the handful of times someone messed with me – the hour of day I was approached and the exact words that were said.

My children, on the other hand, seem to forgive and move on. It’s actually a quite honorable trait.

Several years ago, I invited a group of eight girls to go the mall to select outfits for the upcoming school dance. The posse paraded around Crabtree Valley, poking in and out of stores and critiquing each other’s choices. The next week, one of the girls sent an email out to the group asking if they wanted to dress for the dance at her house. Well, she sent an email out to six of the kids. She didn’t send one to my daughter and one other. She explained it was because her mom said she could only invite six.

Maybe they could only fit that many in their car and their phone was on the fritz so they couldn’t ask another parent to help drive the group to the school. Or perhaps they were planning a formal dinner and only had seating for six at their dining room table. It could be that six was their lucky number! Maybe including seven or eight would have put a curse on the family. Perhaps they had an older house with electrical issues and they feared two more curling irons would have started a fire. All great reasons to exclude my child.

I certainly understand that not every kid can be invited to every party. And had I not just taken this Queen Bee to the mall myself TO PURCHASE AN OUTFIT FOR SAID DANCE, it wouldn’t have bothered me that my kid wasn’t invited.

Interestingly, my daughter was not fazed. She said, “It’s OK dad, we’ll just invite a group here for dinner.”

I, on the other hand, wanted to go punch her mother in the nose.

My kid is so forgiving, I am not. It’s been several years and I still hold the grudge. I see the kid and turn up my nose. My daughter says, “Dad, she’s not so bad. I sort of like her.”

I want to tell her to stay away from the creep.

Maybe my girls are right. Maybe the thing to do isn’t to just avoid those who do you ill will. I guess forgiving, forgetting and starting over is the better thing to do.

I’m an elder at my church which I guess would somehow make it seem like I should be the one driving the forgiveness train. But sometimes I’m taught more from my kids than I’m teaching.

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11 Comments

  1. Mel Ham

     /  July 13, 2014

    They are graceful in so many ways. I look back on a few situations in my childhood one in particular where I shouldn’t have done something that probably made another person feel bad. I look back now as an adult and think that was just mean. I am not my nature that type of person, atleast I don’t think so. But from time to time that situation comes back into my head and heart and grips me everytime. I wish I could get a do over. I say all of this for two reasons. One maybe any bully will be haunted from time to time and wish a do over. And two that I hope and pray for grace to be extended for me. Your girls are not walking around with heaviness like what I describe here…It’s happy and light. It’s a lesson for me.

    Reply
  2. Living in the mountains of North Carolina, we know about the danger of getting in between – or even near – a mama bear and her cubs. It doesn’t matter if you were in the area at the time and meant no harm to her cub. She will come after you with all her might if she even has an inkling you might hurt her cubs or are a danger to her cubs.

    I don’t attack people like a bear would, but we, as parents, also have an inborn nature to want to protect our children from harm or hurt (and it’s not just physical harm; it’s also the hurtful words, the slights, etc.). The “mama bear” in me has always hated it when someone has hurt one of my kids, and it usually has bothered me to a greater depth and for a lot longer than it did one of my kids. I want to protect my kids. I would rather someone hurt me than hurt my kids. As I said, I think that’s part of being a caring parent, and I think it’s harder on us than on our kids.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  July 13, 2014

      Maybe that’s why it torks me so much worse than it does them!

      Reply
  3. I’m always learning more from my son than I think I’ve ever taught him – I think that is one of the secrets of Parenthood! :)

    Reply
  4. Aunt Susan

     /  July 13, 2014

    Go back and re-read what you wrote in “Weird Little Family” it explains your kids. You don’t have a weird fam, just a great one, and one we could all benefit from listening to.

    How’s Ricky?

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  July 13, 2014

      Thanks for the weapon! I’ll put it to use if he comes again!

      Reply
  5. You have great kids! I believe holding a grudge is a waste of your energy. Focus your efforts on forgiveness and you’ll notice how much better you feel. It obviously comes naturally to your kids which shows “great parenting” : )

    Reply
  6. Andee

     /  July 15, 2014

    I can relate to these posts. I was a mother who told my child she could only invite 5 to a dinner/movie birthday party. While at the movie, a child we clearly should have invited just so happened to be seated with her parents behind us. If I had a do over, I would change things. I cannot. We also have felt the other side when we have been left off of invitations and dealt with bullies. I, too, am fiercely protective of my “cubs” and struggle with grudge feelings. Thankfully, my spouse and children are much more easy going and quick to forgive. I strive to be more like that. It is SO important to forgive others and ourselves! It is not easy though…a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, which I’m convinced, is what brings true healing.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  July 16, 2014

      We’re a lot alike. I’m working on it too – but it is hard!

      Reply
  7. I always worry about how I will handle this kind of situation in upcoming years, my girls are 8 months and 3 years old. This post really touched my heart and I hope my girls have the same sense as yours.

    Reply

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