It was worse than yelling - it was a mean whisper, spewed through clenched teeth.
I knew it was bad as it left my tongue, but I couldn't reel it in so I watched helplessly as it struck him - as he hid his head behind his leg.
I tried and botched an apology.
"I did it because you . . .," is what I told him.
"You deserved it," is what he heard. And his face stayed behind his leg.
I am mean, I thought. I'm a bully, I thought. I'm the worst, I thought.
So I took a breath and I tried again.
"That was really mean - the way I said that. I bet it really hurt your feelings. It would hurt my feelings if someone talked to me that way." Pause. A nod from the backseat. "I'm so so sorry. Can you forgive me?"
He said he would, and he lifted his head, and he asked for his burrito.
He seemed to be over it, because he is loving and forgiving and seven. But I wasn't over it.
I scolded myself, worse than yelling, mean whispers spewed at my own soul through clenched teeth. Until a quiet thought stopped me.
"It's been a hard couple of days. Your feelings are hurt - anyone's feelings would be hurt. I'm so sorry. Can you forgive you? Can you let this go?"
I decided I could, and I lifted my head, and I reached for a taco.
*Yes, know better. Yes, do better. Also, know you're not perfect. Also, have grace for your own mistakes. If it helps, picture yourself as a child before you scold and whisper and spew at you ♥*