“My daughter and I just had a knock-down, drag-out bedtime hour. Finally, about ten minutes ago, I put her to bed and through clinched teeth said ‘I love you, Holland, but not another word tonight. You are going to sleep now. I’m done fussing over stuffed animals.’
I paused on the way out the door, literally biting my tongue I was so frustrated.
‘What is it, Holland?’
‘I DO have one more thing to say.’
Of course she did. She was standing on the bed with her hands on her hips, too. Her hair was wild and she was using her arm to wipe her tears and snot away from her face.
‘Mommy,’ my three year old said, staring me down with venom in her tiny voice…
‘I FORGIVE YOU!!!’
Then she laid down and cried and honest to goodness, for a hot minute, I didn’t know what to do.
The way she said ‘I forgive you’, made it sound like cuss words.
I walked over to the bedside and leaned over.
‘Baby girl, do you know what forgiveness means?’
She was still sniffling, her face shoved deep into her Little Mermaid pillow.
‘Yes,’ she muttered.
I really had to hear this.
‘It means you were wrong, and I’m tired of being mad, and now I’m going to sleep and my heart won’t have a tummy ache.’
So there you have it, folks.
Tonight I was taught a lesson in forgiveness by a three year old. It was a gut punch, too. And you’re dang right I climbed in that bed and loved on her.
Because to be honest, MY heart had a bit of a tummy ache.
I was reminded by my toddler to never go to bed in anger. Because when you do, your heart will have a tummy ache.
And you know what? I’ve been alive for 35 years, and I’ve got to give it to her:
She’s not wrong.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mary Katherine Backstrom. The article originally appeared here. Follow Mary on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
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