Teenagers can be selfish people, often wanting what they want when they want it. They can be forgetful, too.
“Oh, sorry, Mom, I forgot to call.” or “Sorry, I was going to cut the grass, but I forgot.”
Part of their consequence is an opportunity to listen to us as we express our disappointment. Sometimes the lecture gets a little long.
My thirteen year old put it all into perspective for me yesterday. He had his spring orchestra concert at school last night. It started at 7:30. He was expected to be there by 7:15. After an early dinner, I headed out to run a few errands, bumping into some friends. A short conversation turned into a lengthy conversation and I completely forgot about the concert.
As I returned home, my son was waiting, dressed up for the concert with tears running down his face. It was 7:35. I convinced him to get in the car and we drove to the school. On the way he explained that the seventh graders played first (he’s a seventh grader), then the eighth graders and finally the combined orchestra. I told him he’d be there in time for the combined group but that did little to console him. He didn’t want to be late.
When we arrived we could hear the eighth graders playing. He headed to the music room to unpack his instrument while I took a seat in the auditorium. My heart ached because I could see how upset he felt. When the seventh graders returned to the stage to join the group, my son took his seat with everyone else. He played beautifully.
I was proud of him. I explained the problem to his teacher who was also proud of him for coming inspite of the situation. On the way home I apologized again. He had little to say, clearly disappointed. At bedtime, I apologized once more and he said, “It’s okay, Mom, I forgive you.” He smiled at me and gave me a hug. He meant it.
My son reminded me how important it is to forgive each other. Hopefully the next time my kids forget something, I’ll remember the power of those words.
“It’s okay, I forgive you.”