A few mornings ago my Sydney didn’t wake up to her alarm. She needs to be out the door by 6:50, but when I rolled out of bed at 6:30, she was still sleeping. Normally she has two back-ups: her dad, who was on duty that day, and her older sister, who had slept in because her morning class was cancelled. Sydney was late, very late.
I ran up the stairs and shouted, “Sydney! Get up! You overslept!”
As soon as the words were out of my mouth, loud and angry and unnecessarily so, it felt wrong.
Nobody wants to oversleep. Nobody wants some old crone screaming at them when it happens, and I, in particular, do not want to be that yelling old crone anymore. Instead the words on a blog post I’d read recently whispered across my mind.
Give her grace.
As I headed downstairs, I decided to do just that.
I decided to make her breakfast and pack her lunch for her. My teens have been handling their own breakfast and lunch for years, but I knew she wouldn’t have time this morning. I made a bagel with peanut butter and packed a sandwich with some carrots and grapes. It took five minutes of my day, but when I handed it to her, her eyes lit up and she smiled as she said, “Thanks, Mom!”
I decided that instead of being angry that she had overslept, I would just let it go. I didn’t bring up checking the alarm clock or not relying on her dad or sister. That cat was out of the bag, and I decided yelling about it wouldn’t do anything but make us both upset.
At the last minute I asked, “Can I give you a ride up the hill?” I never drive the big girls to their bus stop, but her day had already started out on a rough note, and my goal was to give her a reset so I drove her up the hill.
“Bye, Mom! I love you!” she called out as she hopped out of the car. She smiled and then I smiled because even with a rough start she was starting her day on the right foot.
This may not seem like much to some, but for me this was a breakthrough. I am tough on my kids, really really tough sometimes, and to realize in the nick of time that sometimes I just need to give them grace is a bit of a breakthrough.
As a result, I smiled all the way home. What could have been a loud, shouty morning had been transformed to a great start on a Monday morning simply by showing my girl a little grace.
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