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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