She’s the one I always look to for leadership in our family. As the oldest of my three children, she’s the one who has always stepped up to the plate to help. She’s always set the example for her younger brother and sister, knowing that they look up to her for guidance.
It’s one of the things that I love most about her. She knows she has a significant role as the big sister, and she takes it very seriously. She prides herself in being the one her siblings go to when they have a question or if they need comfort. I’ve always said she’s wise beyond her years.
And maybe that’s why it’s so hard for me to forgive her.
She took something that wasn’t hers and then she blatantly lied to me about it, concocting an elaborate story. While it was certainly impressive, I knew she was wasn’t telling the truth. I knew she took these items from someone without asking. It wasn’t until I called her out for it that she finally confessed.
My first reaction was anger. She knew she wasn’t supposed to do this, yet she did it anyway. And why would she do it? She is a very blessed little girl with all that she could ever ask for and more.
I explained to her the severity of what she did. I told her there were consequences for her actions and that she was going to have to take these things back to the person she took them from and apologize. So that afternoon after school, we did just that. She’s since apologized not only to me, but to everyone involved. She’s been doing the chores I’ve asked her to do as punishment and knows she will continue to do so as consequences for her actions.
And yet, I’m still so angry with her.
I can’t help but look at her differently now. No matter how hard I try to see this little girl that I looked up to, I can’t. My heart is filled with so much disappointment. I’ve spoken with others who have assured me that while it was not OK, this is something that is normal for a child her age. And yet that gives me no comfort.
I’m upset with myself, too. Where did I go wrong? Was it something that I did or didn’t do that made her think this was OK? Was it something I could have prevented? Is this a sign of what’s to come when she’s older?
I have so many questions and very little answers. It is just yet another curveball in this life-long game of parenting.
Maybe I shouldn’t put as much pressure on her as I have. After all, she’s only human like the rest of us. She’s only six years old. But she’s always acted so much older than that and has shown so much more responsibility than even I’ve expected. And she knows that I look to her to set an example for her brother and sister. But still, she’s just a little girl.
I never thought it was possible to feel this way about my own child; to have so much anger inside me for something she did.
She knows how much I love her. I’ll always love her, regardless of the decisions she makes in life. But I also want her to know when I am upset and disappointed in her. She needs to know. Much like how I look up to her as someone who showed me the true meaning of love, she looks up to me for guidance in life.
And so no matter how angry I am with her, forgiveness will come. It has to. I just wish it didn’t take so long to show up.More On